Glucose was converted to 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural (HMF) and the potential biodiesel additives 5-(ethoxymethyl)furfural (EMF) and 5-(isopropoxymethyl)furfural (IMF) by Lewis acidic zeolites and Brønsted acidic resins. The conversion occured by sequential isomerization and dehydration reactions in semiaqueous mixtures containing ethanol or isopropanol. Sn-beta and Amberlyst® 15 catalyzed the conversion of glucose to HMF and IMF in 53% yield in isopropanol containing 7.5 weight % water. The yield of undetected byproducts including humins was 7%. The moderate yield is attributed to the increased selectivity of the isomerization reaction and the suppression of further reactions of HMF to byproducts such as levullinic acid, formic acid, and humins in the alcohols.
ASJC Scopus subject areas