Production of Levulinic Acid from Pennisetum alopecuroides in the Presence of an Acid Catalyst

Zhengqiu Yuan, Jinxing Long, Ying Xia, Xinghua Zhang, Tiejun Wang, Longlong Ma


The perennial grass Pennisetum alopecuroides was degraded using a conventional heating method with sulfuric acid. The effects of temperature (150 to 200 °C), reaction time (30 to 210 min), acid concentration (2% to 10%), and solid-liquid ratio (1:10 to 1:4) were optimized for P. alopecuroides hydrolysis. The production of levulinic acid was strongly affected by variations in these parameters. The optimum conditions with respect to reaction temperature, time, acid concentration, and solid-liquid ratio were 190 °C, 60 min, 8%, and 1:6, respectively. The maximum levulinic acid yield using the optimum conditions was 50.49%. The residues obtained from various temperatures were also intensively characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and thermogravimetric (TG) analyses. These results extend the current understanding of the bioconversion and utilization of renewable lignocellulosic biomass.


Pennisetum alopecuroides; Lignocellulose; Hydrolysis; Levulinic acid; Acid catalyst

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