Catalytic Hydrolysis and Dehydration of Saccharides


Technology # 13-39


Invention/Technology regarding Converting Biomass t Bio-Fuels


Bio fuel derived from biomass is one of the leading renewable energy candidates to replace fossil fuel.  The carbon footprint for bio fuels is zero, because the carbon that is present in the bio fuel was originally taken from the atmosphere by plants.  Replacing fossil fuels with bio fuels will lower the carbon content of the atmosphere, and will reduce dependence on non-renewable energy supplies.  HMF (5- hydroxymethlfurfural) is a critical intermediate product for converting biomass to liquid alkanes, which are hydrocarbons such as methane, propane, butane and octane. However, the current production of HMF is hampered by inefficient and costly processes, often involving the use of toxic materials that are themselves environmental hazards.




hydrolysis/dehydration reactions to completion and improve the selectivity and yield for HMF production. The IL will be retained in the reactor in the continuous batch reactor and reused to reduce the processing cost dramatically.

* Solid acid catalysts immobilized on membrane surface for waste-water treatment by oxidizing toxic organic compounds, or pharmaceutical by-products or waste.

* Solid acid catalysts for cracking or petroleum refining.

* Solid acid catalysts for specialized chemical synthesis. Applications in super-acid based proton exchange membrane.





No alternative products exist. Biphasic reactors have been described for removal of HMF and furfural into an organic phase. However use of a catalytic membrane is exceedingly novel allowing for increased HMF and furfural yields.




A new chemical process has been developed that has several advantages over current technology.  The process uses non-toxic materials instead of toxic metal based catalyst or sulphuric acid, thus reducing equipment costs.  The new process is simpler, involving fewer steps, and it is a continuous process, not a batch process.  The new process does not use micro-organisms, but uses instead a more efficient enzyme-mimic catalyst, and the conversion to HMF is a faster process than existing methods.  Further, the new process can use a variety of feed stocks and is not dependent on the use of food plants like corn, and can work efficiently on agricultural waste products.



The invention/technology is available for licensing.

For interested parties seeking further information, feel free to contact:


Mark Allen Lanoue

Technology Manager / Tech Ventures

University of Arkansas

(479) 575-7243



Patent Information:
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Provisional United States 62/151,873 4/23/2015    
For Information, Contact:
Mark Lanoue
Technology Manager
University of Arkansas
Xianghong Qian
Ranil Wickramasinghe
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