(3aq) Catalytic Conversion and Kinetics Study of Biomass to Biofuels and Chemicals

Tsapatsis, M., University of Minnesota

Environmental concerns regarding the use of crude oil and increasing oil prices continue to promote advances in new sources of energy, chemical, and fuel production. In particular, the catalytic conversion of abundant cellulosic sugars such as glucose, fructose, and xylose into chemical intermediates attracts attention as an alternative to the catalytic cracking of petroleum hydrocarbons. The design of sustainable processes involving catalytic conversion of biomass currently is a challenge due to the costly process of production of biofuels.

My research involves materials synthesis and catalytic science, with an emphasis on catalytic conversion of biomass into biofuels and chemicals. I am studying the isomerization of glucose into fructose, kinetics study of biofuel formation from biomass catalyzed by different zeolites, and comparing the activities of Sn-containing zeolites for certain catalytic reactions. In addition, the separation of products from reaction mixtures by adsorption process is another complementary aspect of my research.

My future research direction aims to develop a new class of nanostructured materials as heterogeneous catalysts using hierarchical approach to increase the bioconversion efficiency.

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