Microwave-assisted catalytic alcoholysis of fructose to ethoxymethylfurfural (EMF) over carbon-based microwave-responsive catalyst

Xiaowen Ge, Hong Li, Mengyuan Liu, Zhenyu Zhao, Xin Jin, Xiaolei Fan, Xin Gao

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Ethoxymethylfurfural (EMF) is a promising fuel additive and biofuel which can be produced via catalytic direct alcoholysis of fructose. In this work, microwave-responsive catalysts were prepared by carbonization of cellulose (via either hydrothermal treatment or calcination) then functionalized with SO3H group (via impregnation using concentrated sulfuric acid), which exhibit remarkable performances in one-pot catalytic conversion of fructose to EMF with ethanol. After a 8 h reaction under microwave irradiation at 75 °C, about 80.3% fructose conversion was achieved with the EMF yield of 61.2% for the carbon catalyst prepared by the hydrothermal treatment, which is much higher than that achieved by the catalysis promoted by conventional heating. Further investigation showed that with a microwave-responding catalyst, microwave irradiation encourages the formation of local hot-spots on the catalyst surface, thus facilitating the collision of reactant molecules with catalysts to improve the catalytic efficiency. This work demonstrates the potential of microwave-responsive heterogeneous catalysts for process intensification of valorization of bio-derived chemicals under microwave irradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107305
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethoxymethylfurfural (EMF)
  • Fructose alcoholysis
  • Microwave irradiation
  • Microwave-responsive catalyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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