Catalytic Conversion of Microcrystalline Cellulose to Glucose and 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural over a Niobic Acid Catalyst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Zhe Wen
  • Linhao Yu
  • Fuhang Mai
  • Zewei Ma
  • Hong Chen
  • Yongdan Li

Research units

  • Tianjin University


The catalytic conversion of microcrystalline cellulose is examined over a niobic acid catalyst (NBO) prepared by an alkali fusion method. The catalytic activity of NBO is significantly affected by the reaction conditions and further acid treatment. The highest 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) yield of 7.0 mol % and a glucose yield of 17.7 mol % at a cellulose conversion of 54.2% are achieved at 230 °C for 2 h. The H2SO4-treated (NBS) and H3PO4-treated (NBP) samples both show greatly improved performance over NBO due to the introduction of strong acid sites and the increase in specific surface area. NBS gives a glucose yield of 26.0 mol % and an HMF yield of 14.1 mol %, while NBP exhibits a glucose yield of 21.4 mol % and an HMF yield of 15.5 mol %. NBO shows excellent recyclability for the catalytic hydrolysis of cellulose. The recovered NBS and NBP samples can be regenerated by calcination and subsequent acid treatment.


Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 37669447