A kinetic study has been performed on the degradation of furfural in a dilute acidic and saline solution with and without the presence of glucose. Experiments have been performed in a stirred batch reactor. The degradation of furfural alone was accurately predicted both using a first- and a second-order kinetic model. It was shown that furfural is degrading significantly faster when glucose is present in the reaction mixture. In the series with glucose present distinct second-order reaction kinetics were observed. From experiments with varying concentrations of glucose it turned out that an additional (second-order) reaction had to be added to the reaction mechanism in order to satisfactorily predict the experimental data. This additional reaction incorporated the initial glucose concentration as a constant in the Arrhenius expression for the reaction rate constant. Furthermore, it has been argued that this second-order reaction could well be a Diels-Alder reaction.
- Furfural degradation