Parametric Study on the Production of Levulinic Acid by Acid-Catalyzed Hydrolysis of Rice Husks

Author : Matibag, Gabriel Niccolo dela Cruz
Major Adviser : Gatdula, Kristel M. 
Committee Members : Dizon, Lisa Stephanie H.; Borines, Myra G.; Demafelis, Rex B.
Year : 2018
Month : June
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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This study on the production of levulinic acid from rice husks can be significant to current and future researches which is concerned in producing levulinic acid from biomass such as the production of fuel additives. The study aimed to produce levulinic acid from rice husks by acid-catalyzed hydrolysis, to determine if reaction time (0.5 hours, 6 hours), reaction temperature (150°C, 175°C), acid type (H₂SO₄, HCl), and acid concentration (0.1 M, 1 M) have significant effects on the levulinic acid yield, to evaluate the actual yield from the theoretical yield, and to determine the combination of parameters that gives the highest levulinic acid yield. The rice husk obtained was first washed, dried and milled. It was soaked in dilute sulphuric acid and was autoclaved at 121°C for 30 minutes. The samples were washed and dried again then was subjected to acid-catalyzed hydrolysis using 2ᵏ⁻¹ fractional factorial design. The hydrolysates were then subjected to gas chromatography for analysis. The highest yield that was obtained in the study is 39.88 % (w/w). This was achieved by using 1 M sulphuric acid at a temperature of 150°C for six hours. Out of the four factors, only reaction temperature was found to be significant in the production of levulinic acid. The researcher recommends that a pressurized reactor be used, a more pure standard be used in generating the standard curve and to also determine the hemicellulose content of the feedstock.

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