Senators Feinstein, Toomey introduce bill to repeal ethanol mandate in RFS
Magna unveiling lightweight plug-in hybrid sportscar at Geneva show

New catalyst delivers high yield of biofuel 5-EMF

Researchers in China have developed an effective method for the conversion of carbohydrates into liquid biofuels 5-ethoxymethylfurfural (EMF) over a magnetic solid acid catalyst (Fe3O4@C—SO3H). A paper on their work is published in the journal Fuel.

Ethoxymethylfurfural has an energy density of 8.7 kWh/L—very close to that of regular gasoline (8.8 kWh/L), nearly as good diesel (9.7 kWh/L) and significantly higher than ethanol (6.1 kWh/L). (Earlier post.)

The catalysts show high catalytic activity toward the synthesis of EMF from carbohydrates. As reported in the paper, the etherification of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) with ethanol over Fe3O4@C—SO3H catalyst produced EMF with a high yield of 88.4%.

The catalyst also showed high activity toward the one-pot conversion of fructose based carbohydrates into EMF. EMF was obtained in a yield of 67.8% from fructose, and that was 58.4% from inulin. The catalyst can be easily collected by an external magnet and reused for several times without the significant loss of its catalytic activity.


  • Ziliang Yuan, Zehui Zhang, Judun Zheng, Jintao Lin (2015) “Efficient synthesis of promising liquid fuels 5-ethoxymethylfurfural from carbohydrates,” Fuel, Volume 150, Pages 236-242 doi: 10.1016/j.fuel.2015.02.020


The comments to this entry are closed.