Valorization of hazelnut shell waste in hot compressed water
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Hydrothermal conversion of waste hazelnut shell in hot compressed water, green and environmentally friendly medium, was investigated under different operating conditions to clarify the effects of reaction temperature, reaction time, acid concentration and acid kind (H2SO4 and H3PO4) on the production of value-added chemicals with high temperature/high pressure autoclave. In literature, to our best knowledge, there is no study about the production of levulinic acid, as a high value chemical, from waste hazelnut shell in hot-compressed water without using any mineral and heterogeneous catalyst. Hydrothermal reactions were conducted at 150–280 °C for reaction times of 15 to 120 min with various H2SO4 and H3PO4 concentrations varying from 0 to 125 mM. The detailed liquid product species were identified with High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and gaseous products were analyzed by Gas Chromatography with a Thermal Conductivity Detector (GC-TCD). The main identified liquid compounds were levulinic acid, acetic acid and furfural while carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide were the major gaseous products. Increasing the reaction temperature (280 °C) and reaction time (120 min) resulted in a significant increment on the conversion (65.40%) as well as levulinic acid yield (13.05%). The production of levulinic acid was enhanced with H2SO4 addition; whereas treatments with H3PO4 improved the furfural production.