Reaction of d-glucose in water at high temperatures (410 °c) and pressures (180 MPa) for the production of dyes and nano-particles

Zhen Fang, Richard L. Smith, Janusz A. Kozinski, Tomoaki Minowa, Kunio Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


An autoclave (120-mL) and an optical micro-reactor (50-nL) were used to study the hydrothermal decomposition of d-glucose at high temperatures and high pressures. During slow heating (0.18 °C/s) to 350 °C in the autoclave, water-soluble glucose (0.9 M) began to decompose at 220 °C and reacted completely at 280 °C. The initial decomposition products were 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural and levoglucosan, and these subsequently converted into oil and solid residue, and finally to solid particles at a 65 wt% yield at 350 °C. When the same heating rate and temperature were used on glucose solutions in the micro-reactor, yellow and orange materials decomposed from glucose were produced. Numerous particles precipitated at 251 °C, and at 350 °C, all the glucose changed to an orange film and solid particles, which were nanoparticles as confirmed by SEM. However, when the glucose solution was rapidly heated to 410 °C (9.5-17 °C/s), yellow, brown and orange sugar-like materials were produced. A homogeneous phase with yellow color still remained at temperatures as high as 380 °C, and few particles formed until 410 °C. It can be concluded that micron-sized particles and colored solutions can be produced by slow heating, while rapid heating resulted in the formation of dye-like substances with glucose-like structures. The formation of colored solutions and particles may have technological implications in food or materials formation processes that use high temperature water with biomass feedstocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Supercritical Fluids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb


  • Biomass
  • Diamond anvil cell
  • Dyes
  • Glucose
  • Hydrothermal
  • Particles
  • Sub- and supercritical water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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