Single stage and countercurrent extraction of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural from aqueous phase systems

Eva C. Sindermann, Alexander Holbach, André de Haan, Norbert Kockmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The focus of this work is the extraction of the bio-based platform chemical 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) from aqueous solution. HMF is a promising molecule produced from hexoses and can serve as basis for numerous applications such as biofuels and bio-based polymers. The goal of this work is to improve the isolation of this valuable compound by means of a countercurrent extraction process. In a first step, equilibrium studies are carried out on the applied component system MIBK/HMF/water. Experiments show that no significant influence of HMF concentration and process temperature on the partition coefficients exists in the investigated ranges. Only by adding sodium chloride it is possible to increase the partition coefficient by a factor of about 2.5. Comparison with other organic solvents, such as ethyl acetate and 2-heptanone shows that MIBK has superior properties for HMF extraction since it yields high partition coefficients and has low solubility in water. Hence, it is used in the countercurrent extraction. The process intensified extraction column (PIEC) applied in our investigations has high extraction efficiency due to its optimized hydrodynamics, resulting in experimental yields of the extraction up to 99% of HMF
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-259
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • HMF
  • Countercurrent extraction
  • Process intensified extraction column
  • Bio-based materials
  • MIBK


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