Optimization of a Detoxification Process for the Removal of Furfural by Activated Carbon Adsorption in a Model System of Simulated Lignocellulosic Hydrolysate

Author : Vegilla, Jhan Robert Pajalla
Major Adviser : Alcantara, Jerico Z.
Major Co-Adviser : Elegado, Francisco B.
Committee Members : Alfafara, Catalino G.; Bataller, Butch G.
Year : 2015
Month : June
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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A study on the competitive adsorption system of glucose and furfural with activated carbon (AC) was conducted to approximate a detoxification process for a simulated lignocellulosic hydrolysate. Experiments based on a central composite design were carried out on 50 mL solutions containing glucose (50 g/L) and furfural (1 g/L). The factors that were studied were activated carbon loading, varied from 1% to 5% (w/v), and contact time, varied from 1 hour to 5 hours. The pH of the solutions was set at 6.0. Agitation rate of 150 rpm and temperature of 30 ̊C were used in all experiments. Response surface method was applied to create empirical models for the two responses chosen for the study, namely % furfural reduction and % glucose reduction. Results of the statistical analysis showed that the two factors significantly influenced the two responses, although, AC loading was more influential. The models were determined to be adequate in prediction purposes, therefore, further navigation in the design space was valid. Minimum values of the responses coincided at 1% w/v AC loading and 1 hour contact time, while their maximum values coincided at 5% w/v AC loading and 5 hours contact time. Optimization of the process conditions was done to achieve a high reduction of furfural while keeping the reduction of glucose at low levels. The optimized conditions were as follows: 4.93 % w/v AC loading, 3.9 hours contact time, resulting to 100 % furfural reduction and 8.4 % glucose reduction.

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