(362c) Catalytic Strategies for the Conversion of Biomass-Derived Carbohydrates to Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels

Dumesic, J. A. - Presenter, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Environmental and political issues created by our dependence on fossil fuels, such as global warming and national security, combined with diminishing petroleum resources are causing our society to search for new renewable sources of energy and chemicals, and an important sustainable source of organic fuels, chemicals and materials is plant biomass. We will present results for a cascade catalytic process for the deconstruction of cellulose in an aqueous solution of sulfuric acid to produce gama-valerolactone, that can subsequently be converted catalytically with high yields to nonenes or butenes. These alkene products are hydrophobic and separate spontaneously from water, yet can be processed further to liquid fuel components for gasoline, jet and Diesel fuels by a combination of acid-catalyzed isomerization, oligomerization, and cracking, followed optionally by hydrogenation to form alkanes. This cascade catalytic approach provides a strategy for effective management and recycle of the sulfuric acid used in the cellulose deconstruction step, and it minimizes the need for an external source of hydrogen to achieve the requisite deoxygenation of cellulose.