(716d) Synthesis and Performance of Cellulase-Mimetic Polymeric Solid Catalysts for Hydrolysis of Cellulose
Hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose is the most critical step in bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals. Cellulases and homogenous acids are widely used for cellulose hydrolysis. However, cellulases can only be used at moderate conditions and need longer time to achieve satisfactory cellulose hydrolysis. Homogenous acids can tolerate higher temperature, but they have limitations and issues such as equipment corrosion, recycling and wastewater treatment. To address these issues, heterogeneous solid acids have recently drawn a lot of attention for hydrolyzing cellulose. Traditional solid acids such as sulfonated carbon and resins, however, are not as effective as homogenous acids and cellulases in hydrolyzing cellulose because they have poor access/affinity to cellulose. In this study, a series of porous polymeric solid acids were synthesized for cellulose hydrolysis. These cellulase-mimetic solid acids have hydroxyl, halide, or boronic acid as cellulose-binding group in addition to sulfonic acid as cellulose-hydrolytic group. Their performance in hydrolyzing cellulose and real lignocellulose was evaluated. The properties of the synthesized catalysts such as particle size, surface area, and functional groups and their effect on cellulose hydrolysis were investigated.