BACKGROUNDSuccinic acid is an important intermediate compound with high commercial significance in the chemical industry. It can be obtained from renewable resources such as furfural. This article describes the kinetic study of furfural oxidation with hydrogen peroxide over a fibrous polymer-supported sulphonic acid catalyst (Smopex-101). The influence of reaction temperature, initial concentration of hydrogen peroxide and furfural has been investigated in detail. Reaction kinetics has been studied both in batch and semi-batch modes. Self-decomposition of hydrogen peroxide and loss of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide has been thoroughly examined. Parameter estimation has been performed and comparison was made between catalytic and non-catalytic reactions. The catalyst stabilities have been discussed.RESULTSThe results indicate that the reaction orders in hydrogen peroxide decomposition are different in catalytic and non-catalytic reactions. Furfural presence in the reaction mixture, its interactions with the catalyst and involvement in other reactions significantly suppressed the side reactions, improving hydrogen peroxide utilization. The desired product (succinic acid) has been obtained in good yields (80%) when furfural was added in a semi-batch mode.CONCLUSIONSThe kinetic models predicted the consumption behavior of hydrogen peroxide and furfural in both catalytic and non-catalytic reactions and the kinetic parameters were statistically well identified.
- Chemical Engineering