(533a) Catalytic Upgrading of Biomass Derivatives to Renewable Jet Fuels

Saha, B., University of Delaware
Dutta, S., University of Delaware
The environmentally harmful carbon emissions and high price volatility of petroleum, owing to demand-supply imbalance and rapid depletion of fuel reservoirs, necessitates utilization of a renewable carbon alternative for chemicals and fuels. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Energy has initiated an integrated biorefinery program designed to encourage the development of efficient and cost-competitive biomass conversion technologies to transform diverse and abundant lignocellulose and waste biomass intermediates into High Value Chemicals (HVCs) and liquid fuels. The transformation of biomass into high carbon branched chain alkanes suitable for jet and diesel ranged fuels require efficient biomass depolymerization, C-C coupling, ring-opening (RO) and hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) strategies.

In this strategy, efficient deoxygenation of high carbon oxygenated furylmethanes without C-C cracking is necessary to achieve desired branched chain alkanes with high yield and selectivity. We found that bifunctional catalysts containing metal and Lewis acid sites are effective to operate the reaction at lower temperature, enabling jet fuels production with high carbon efficiency. The furan rings of furylmethanes are first hydrogenated to fully saturated cyclic ethers, which then undergo facile ring-opening and deoxygenation. Probing the reaction pathways with symmetric single furan ring surrogate molecules suggest that Lewis acid functionality is necessary for ring-opening. Maximum 97% alkane yield with 93% selectivity in C15H32 and C14H30 products is achieved at optimal reaction conditions.