(634e) Biphasic Tandem Catalytic Process for Renewable Biofuel Production

Lin, H., Washington State University
The market demand for renewable liquid fuels has surged in the transportation sector in the past decades. However, today the cost of liquid hydrocarbon fuels from biomass is still too high to compete with petroleum derived transportation fuels. One of the grand challenges in biofuels production is the low carbon atom efficiency to the fuel products. Herein we have successfully developed a novel “one-pot” biphasic tandem catalytic process (biTCP) that was used to convert terpenoids and lipids to hydrocarbons at an extraordinarily high carbon efficiency. For demonstration, the mono- and diterpenoids, e.g., the biocrudes of eucalyptus and grindelia squarrosa, have been converted into cycloalkanes, which are high-density jet fuel components, with the homogeneous acid and the hydrophobic supported metal catalysts in aqueous and organic solvents, respectively, in the biTCP. This novel process was also able to highly efficiently convert fatty acids and triglycerides to renewable diesel. The reaction mechanism was investigated to gain a fundamental understanding of the effects of catalyst properties and process conditions on the conversion of the two different types of biomass feedstock.