(516d) Catalytic Upgrading Biocrude from Grindelia Squarrosa to Jet Fuels through Aqueous Phase Hydrodeoxygenation

Authors: 
Yang, X., University of Nevada, Reno
Lin, H., University of Nevada, Reno

Catalytic upgrading biocrude from grindelia squarrosa to jet fuels through aqueous phase hydrodeoxygenation

Xiaokun Yang1, Glenn Miller2,
Simon Poulson3, Steve Spain4, and
Hongfei Lin1*

1Chemical
Engineering and Materials Science Department, 2Agriculture,
Biotechnology & Natural Resources Department, 3Geological
Sciences & EngineeringDepartment, 4Chemistry
Department, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, U.S 89557

E-Mail: hongfeil@unr.edu;

Biomass feedstocks
that grow on arid/semiarid lands are good solutions that do not conflict with
food and feed production. To utilize marginal arid land, which is unsuitable
for food crop cultivation, the dedicated energy crop can be truly valuable. Grindelia
squarrosa, also named as gumweed, is an arid land
plant. The production rate of the biocrude oil
extracted from gumweed is about 70-85 gal/acre on an annualized basis which is
comparable to that of soy beans, except that gumweed needs much less water and
fertilizers. The main component in gumweed biocrude
is grindelic acid, a tricyclic diterpenoid,
instead of triglycerides or fatty acids in the biocrudes
of other oilseed plants. Herein, bi-functional solid acid supported noble metal
catalysts was used to catalyze the conversion of the gumweed biocrude to bio jet fuels by hydrodeoxygenation
in hydrothermal media. Compared to pyrolysis processes with the main products as
aromatics which are not high-quality jet fuels, the aqueous phase hydrodeoxygenation produced many branched alkanes and
cyclic alkanes that are excellent jet fuel components. Different solid acid
supports had profound effect on the yield of bio jet fuels. The effects of
reaction conditions such as reaction temperature and catalyst loading were also
investigated.  At the optimum condition,
the yield of ~72% bio jet fuel components was obtained from gumweed biocrude extract with the 1% Pd/W-ZrO2
catalyst.