The invention includes methods for producing dianhydrosugar alcohol by providing an acid catalyst within a reactor and passing a starting material through the reactor at a first temperature. At least a portion of the staring material is converted to a monoanhydrosugar isomer during the passing through the column. The monoanhydrosugar is subjected to a second temperature which is greater than the first to produce a dianhydrosugar. The invention includes a method of producing isosorbide. An initial feed stream containing sorbitol is fed into a continuous reactor containing an acid catalyst at a temperature of less than 120.degree. C. The residence time for the reactor is less than or equal to about 30 minutes. Sorbitol converted to 1,4-sorbitan in the continuous reactor is subsequently provided to a second reactor and is dehydrated at a temperature of at least 120.degree. C. to produce isosorbide.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
This invention was made with Government support under contract DE-AC0676RLO-1830, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.