A New Technology for Utilization of Biomass Hydrolysis Residual Humins for Acetic Acid Production

Shimin Kang, Gang Zhang, Qifei Yang, Junling Tu, Xiaojuan Guo, Frank G. F. Qin, Yongjun Xu


Humins are a major byproduct formed from acid-catalyzed biomass hydrolysis and are usually considered as a low-value material. In this work, humins were completely degraded by a two-step technology, involving alkaline-catalytic hydrothermal treatment followed by wet oxidation. Using this technology, humins were converted to value-added acetic acid for first time. The highest acetic acid yield of 25.6% on a carbon basis or 37.2% on a mass basis was obtained with a purity of 46.2% based on the organic carbon in the aqueous product. This high-efficiency recovery of acetic acid is a new method for the effective utilization of humins, which is an important finding for biorefineries.


Humins; Acetic acid; Wet oxidation; Hydrothermal treatment; Biomass; Levulinic acid

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