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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Applied Science (IJRIAS) |Volume VII, Issue X, October 2022|ISSN 2454-6194

Catalytic Conversion of Furfural from Hemicellulose of Citrullus colocynthis (Melon) Seed Husk to Liquid Hydrocarbons

U.A. Aji1*, C. Muhammad2, M.N. Almustapha2, S.U. Dandare3, A.M. Zabi1, V.C. Ntichika1, A.A. Aliyu1, M.D. Gadzama1.
1Department of Production/Process, Dangote Fertiliser Limited, Lagos, Nigeria.
2Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
3Department of Biochemistry, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
*Corresponding author

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Abstract: As concern over the twin challenges of climate change and energy security intensifies, numerous potential methods are being investigated for the production of energy and chemicals to satisfy global demand in an environmentally friendly manner. In light of this, catalytic conversion of furfural from hemicelluloses of Citrullus colocynthis (melon) seed husk to liquid hydrocarbons over NiO/SiO2 was investigated. Furfural was produced by acid-catalyzed hydrolysis/dehydration of melon seed husk at temperature (2200C), acid concentration (10% H2SO4), and reaction time (55 minutes) which was subsequently converted to liquid hydrocarbons via furfural-acetone condensation followed by hydrodeoxygenation of furfural-acetone adduct. FT-IR spectrum of the produced furfural showed absorption at 1670 cm-1 and 2800 cm-1 indicating a conjugated carbonyl functional group and aldehydic hydrogen. The hydrodeoxygenation was carried out in a stainless-steel reactor at 1500C for 8 hours and 2bar hydrogen. The NiO/SiO2 catalyst for the hydrodeoxygenation reaction was prepared by the wet impregnation method. XRF analysis of the NiO/SiO2 revealed a percentage metal Composition of 73.939% SiO2 and 24.641% NiO. The hydrodeoxygenation using NiO/SiO2 in water at 1500C for 8 hours yielded liquid hydrocarbons with 86.61% hydrocarbons yield (C9-C12) and 1.46% 2-propenylidenecyclobutene. The result revealed that Citrullus coloncythis. (Melon) seed husk is a good source for liquid hydrocarbons production and could be used as a feedstock in industries for fuels and the production of the like chemicals.

Keywords: Furfural; Hemicellulose; Melon seed; Liquid Hydrocarbons: Hydrodeoxygenation.


Global population growth and the depletion of fossil fuel reserves have led to an increase in the demand for fuel and chemicals. Political concerns over energy security and environmental issues brought on by CO2 emissions and the ensuing global warming have also contributed to these problems. Diverse renewable energy sources have been investigated to create sustainable procedures in order to address issues [1].
For lignocellulosic biomass like maize stover, wheat straw, rice husk/straw, and millet husk to be more valuable, biomass can be utilized for energy and biochemical synthesis [2].