Journal article Open Access

Hydrothermal Conversion of Spent Sugar Beets into High-Value Platform Molecules

Jens Pfersich; Pablo J. Arauzo; Michela Lucian; Pierpaolo Modugno; Maria-Magdalena Titirici; Luca Fiori; Andrea Kruse

The growing importance of bio-based products, combined with the desire to decrease the production of wastes, boosts the necessity to use wastes as raw materials for bio-based products. A waste material with a large potential is spent sugar beets, which are mainly used as animal feeds or fertilizers. After hydrothermal treatment, the produced chars exhibited an H/C ratio of 1.2 and a higher heating value of 22.7 MJ/kg, which were similar to that of subbituminous coal and higher than that of lignite. Moreover, the treatment of 25 g/L of glucose and 22 g/L of fructose by heating up to 160 °C led to a possible application of spent sugar beets for the production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. In the present study, the maximum concentration of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural was 3.4 g/L after heating up to 200 °C.

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