Simulation and economic analysis of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural conversion to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid

Christoph Triebl, Vladimiros Nikolakis, Marianthi Ierapetritou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Two processes for converting 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) were designed using literature data together with simplified process simulation models. The main reaction step is HMF catalytic oxidation using aqueous acetic acid as solvent, Pt/ZrO2 as catalyst and air as oxidant. The first process investigated involves a mixed-suspension, mixed-product-removal crystallizer and a filter for separating solid FDCA from the solvent. The calculated minimum sale price of FDCA is 3157$/t, whereas, if pure oxygen is used as oxidant the FDCA price reduces to 2458$/t. Due to the high melting point of FDCA, the second alternative considered introduces trioctylamine as solvent to facilitate separation of FDCA from the solvent using distillation. The estimated FDCA price using this process is 3885$/t. Sensitivity analysis shows that selectivity and conversion have small impact on FDCA price, whereas plant capacity, catalyst and HMF costs have large effects on the price of FDCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
StatePublished - May 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Biomass
  • Biorefinery
  • Economy Analysis
  • FDCA
  • HMF
  • Process Simulation

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