5-Acetoxymethyl-2-furfural (AMF) was prepared from D-fructose via 1,6-diacetylfructose (DAF) through a simple two-step reaction pathway. Immobilized enzyme (Novozym 435) was found to be the best enzymatic catalyst for the trans-esterification step (yielding 94.6% DAF). In the dehydration step, while soluble H2SO4 was found to be the best acidic catalyst (yielding 86.6% AMF), we opted to utilize heterogeneous cation exchange resin (Amberlyst 15) together with recyclable industrial solvents (1,4-dioxane) for a more sustainable AMF synthesis procedure. Although the total yield of AMF was a little lower, both the enzyme and the solid acid catalyst could be recycled for five cycles without a significant loss of activity, which has a major contribution to the cost-efficient aspect of the entire process.
Keywords: 5-Acetoxymethyl-2-furfural (AMF); 5-Hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (HMF); D-Fructose; dehydration.; trans-esterification.