High value-addition of forestry residuals into levulinic acid
Levulinic Acid (LA) is among the top twelve value-added platform chemicals, and is an abundant and versatile building block for numerous compounds aimed at consumer applications. LA is produced in insufficient quantities to meet market demand and by using fossil fuels which prevents LA production to meet environmental standards. We propose a novel, efficient, and green conversion of forestry residuals into LA production, while using crude glycerol, a biodiesel industry by-product, as an alternative to strong acid to minimize the by-products concentration obtained during acid treatment. We also propose to use ultra-sonication as a specific, simple and less-energy intense approach in comparison to inefficient product formation with conventional LA production approaches. The combination of semi-continuous and aqueous two-phase system will boost LA yield and recovery for commercial applications. The possible technology transfer to future industry will be defined thanks to a techno-economic evaluation. The proposed work will lead to a valuable cutting-edge technology that could benefit CRIQ and help them offer services with innovative solutions to the industry looking for value-added products from solid and liquid wastes.