Humin based by-products from biomass processing as a potential carbonaceous source for synthesis gas production

Thi Minh Chau Hoang, E.R.H. van Eck, Wojciech P. Bula, Han J.G.E. Gardeniers, Leon Lefferts, Kulathuiyer Seshan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)
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Lignocellulosic biomass is addressed as potential sustainable feedstock for green fuels and chemicals. (Hemi)cellulose is the largest constituent of the material. Conversion of these polysaccharides to bio-based platform chemicals is important in green chemical/fuel production and biorefinery. Hydroxymethyl furfural, furfural and levulinic acid are substantial building blocks from (poly)saccharides. Synthesis of these molecules involves acid catalysed hydrolysis/dehydration reactions which leads large formation of insoluble by-products, called humins. Humin obtained from dehydration of glucose is used in this study. Fractionisation of humin was investigated using various solvents (e.g., acetone, H2O, and NaOH 1%). Characterisation of humin using various techniques including ATR-IR, HR-SEM, solid state NMR, elemental analysis, Raman spectroscopy, pyrolysis, etc. confirms its furan rich structure with aliphatic oxygenate linkages. The influence of thermal treatment on humin was investigated. Humin undergoes a lot of changes both in morphology and structure. Humin loses ca. 45 wt% when preheated to 700 °C (prior to the gasification temperature) and contains above 92 wt% C in mainly aromatic/graphitic structures. Valorisation of humin via dry reforming was studied. Non-catalytic dry reforming of humin is very difficult; however, alkali catalysts (e.g. Na2CO3) can enhance the reaction rate tremendously.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-972
JournalGreen chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2015


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