Theses and Dissertations


Islam Elsayed

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hassan, El Barbary M.

Committee Member

Street, Jason Tyler

Committee Member

Jackson, Michael A.

Committee Member

Zhang, Jilei

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Sustainable Bioproducts

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Forest Resources


Department of Sustainable Bioproducts


Increasing energy demand and various problems associated with fossil fuels such as environmental pollution, global warming and diminishing petroleum reserves have greatly stimulated production of fuels and chemicals from renewable sources. Lignocellulosic biomass has been considered as one of the potential sources for a variety of fuels and industrial chemicals. 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) has been identified as an excellent platform molecule because it is a flexible intermediate for the synthesis of bio-renewable fuels and materials. HMF can be easily obtained from acid-catalyzed hydration of biomass-derived carbohydrates (hexoses) in various media. HMF can be converted to energy products such as 2,5-bis(alkoxymethyl)furans (BAMFs), monomers for high-value polymers such as 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan (BHMF), and valuable intermediates for fine chemicals. Recently, magnetic nanoparticle based catalysts attracted more attention due to their good stability and easy separation from the reaction mixture by a permanent magnet. This unique magnetic separation property makes MNPs more effective than conventional filtration or centrifugation as it prevents loss of the catalyst. This dissertation work focuses on, firstly, studying the effectiveness of silica coated magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles MNPs supported with sulfonic acid groups (Fe3O4@SiO2-SO3H) on the dehydration of glucose to HMF. Secondly, preparing a cost-effective catalytic transfer hydrogenation system for the selective transformation of HMF into BHMF via Meerwein-Ponndorf-Verley (MPV) reaction over the copper iron magnetic catalyst supported on activated carbon in ethanol solvent with the absence of molecular hydrogen. Thirdly, producing alkoxymethylfurans (AMFs) which are considered a potential biofuels by using two-step sequential reactions with cheap heterogeneous zinc-iron oxides magnetic nanocatalyst for the hydrogenation of HMF to furfuryl alcohols in various alcohols solvents in the absence of molecular hydrogen followed by solid Brønsted acid catalyst for the etherification reaction of furfuryl alcohol derivatives. All prepared heterogeneous catalysts were characterized by FTIR, XRD, H2-TPR, XPS, ICP-OES, HRTEM-EDX, and N2 adsorption-desorption isothermal analyses (BET and BJH) and were tested for recyclability. The chemical products were identified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and products quantities were calculated by using calibration curves of chemical standards. Various reaction conditions such as reaction temperature, reaction time, catalyst amount, and alcohol type were optimized.



U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Research, Education, and Economics (REE), Agriculture Research Service (ARS), Administrative and Financial Management (AFM), Financial Management and Accounting Division (FMAD) Grants and Agreements Management Branch (GAMB), under Agreement No. 58-0202-4-001.