Described is a process to produce hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) from biomass-derived sugars. The process includes the steps of reacting a C5 and/or C6 sugar-containing reactant derived from biomass in a monophasic or biphasic reaction solution comprising water and a co-solvent. The co-solvent can be beta-, gamma-, and/or delta-lactones derived from biomass, tetrahydrofuran (THF) derived from biomass, and/or methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF) derived from biomass. The reaction takes place in the presence of an acid catalyst and a dehydration catalyst for a time and under conditions such that at least a portion of glucose or fructose present in the reactant is converted to HMF.
FEDERAL FUNDING STATEMENT
This invention was made with government support under W911NF-09-2-0010 awarded by the ARMY/ARO and DE-FG02-84ER13183 awarded by the US Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.