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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 506329, 6 pages
Research Article

Rapid Method for the Determination of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural and Levulinic Acid Using a Double-Wavelength UV Spectroscopy

1Engineering Research Center for Eco-Dyeing and Finishing of Textiles, Ministry of Education, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
2Key Lab. of Biomass Energy and Material, Nanjing 210000, China

Received 4 August 2013; Accepted 27 August 2013

Academic Editors: H. Filik and I. Garrard

Copyright © 2013 Junhua Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study reports on a rapid method for the determination of levulinic acid (LA) and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) in acid hydrolyze system of glucose based on UV spectroscopy. It was found that HMF and LA have a maximum absorption at the wavelengths of 284 nm and 266 nm, respectively, in a water medium, and the absorptions of HMF and LA at 284 nm and 266 nm follow Beer’s law very well. However, it was found that a major spectral interference species will arise in the quantification of HMF and LA; nonetheless, this interference can be eliminated through the absorption treatment of charcoal. Therefore, both HMF and LA can be quantified with a double-wavelength technique. The repeatability of the method had a relative standard deviation of less than 4.47% for HMF and 2.25% for LA; the limit of quantification (LOQ) was 0.017 mmol/L for HMF and 4.68 mmol/L for LA, and the recovery ranged from 88% to 116% for HMF and from 94% to 105% for LA. The present method is simple, rapid, and accurate. It is suitable to use in the research of the preparation of HMF and LA in biorefinery area.