Report

Production of Liquid Alkanes by Aqueous-Phase Processing of Biomass-Derived Carbohydrates

Science  03 Jun 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5727, pp. 1446-1450
DOI: 10.1126/science.1111166

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Abstract

Liquid alkanes with the number of carbon atoms ranging from C7 to C15 were selectively produced from biomass-derived carbohydrates by acid-catalyzed dehydration, which was followed by aldol condensation over solid base catalysts to form large organic compounds. These molecules were then converted into alkanes by dehydration/hydrogenation over bifunctional catalysts that contained acid and metal sites in a four-phase reactor, in which the aqueous organic reactant becomes more hydrophobic and a hexadecane alkane stream removes hydrophobic species from the catalyst before they go on further to form coke. These liquid alkanes are of the appropriate molecular weight to be used as transportation fuel components, and they contain 90% of the energy of the carbohydrate and H2 feeds.

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