Project

Back to overview

Catalytic upgrading of biomass-derived carboxylic acids for fuel and chemical production

English title Catalytic upgrading of biomass-derived carboxylic acids for fuel and chemical production
Applicant Luterbacher Jeremy
Number 153866
Funding scheme NRP 70 Energy Turnaround
Research institution Institut des sciences et ingénierie chimiques EPFL - SB - ISIC
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Chemical Engineering
Start/End 01.10.2014 - 31.12.2018
Approved amount 620'917.00
Show all

Keywords (4)

Alkanes; Catalysis; Alpha-olefins; Biomass

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
En raison des effets croissants du changement climatique liés à l’extraction et l’utilisation du pétrole, la biomasse est de plus en plus présentée comme une source potentielle de matériaux durables. Dans ce contexte, les acides carboxyliques sont des intermédiaires particulièrement intéressants pour la production de carburants et de produit chimiques dérivés de la biomasse. Ces acides peuvent être produits à un rendement élevé et ont des fonctionnalités chimiques qui sont favorables pour le reformage catalytique.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

L’objectif de ce projet et de développer des systèmes catalytiques capable de convertir les acides carboxyliques en alkane et en oléfines. Dans un premier temps, nous étudierons des systèmes de catalyse hétérogène pour produire ces molécules à partir de mélanges purifiés. Cependant, du fait que l’on travaille avec des molécules issues de plantes, leurs mélanges sont généralement en phase aqueuse et contiennent des impuretés organiques et inorganiques qui peuvent nuire au systèmes de conversion. Pour cette raison, nous développerons dans un deuxième temps des systèmes catalytiques capables de convertir ces mêmes molécules dans un mélange provenant directement de la biomasse.

 

Contexte scientifique et social du projet de recherche

La biomasse est particulièrement attractive à cause de sa capacité à fournir des produits à base de carbone tel que les alkanes (composants principal des carburants liquides), ou tel que les oléfines (qui sont à la base de nombreux plastiques, savons ou produits pharmaceutiques). En effet, ces molécules issues du pétrole sont particulièrement difficiles à remplacer par d’autres sources renouvelables tel que l’électricité mais sont néanmoins essentielles pour notre société.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.12.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Selectivity Control during the Single-Step Conversion of Aliphatic Carboxylic Acids to Linear Olefins
Yeap Jher Hau, Héroguel Florent, Shahab Robert L., Rozmysłowicz Bartosz, Studer Michael H., Luterbacher Jeremy S. (2018), Selectivity Control during the Single-Step Conversion of Aliphatic Carboxylic Acids to Linear Olefins, in ACS Catalysis, 8(11), 10769-10773.
Consolidated bioprocessing of lignocellulosic biomass to lactic acid by a synthetic fungal-bacterial consortium
Shahab Robert L., Luterbacher Jeremy S., Brethauer Simone, Studer Michael H. (2018), Consolidated bioprocessing of lignocellulosic biomass to lactic acid by a synthetic fungal-bacterial consortium, in Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 115(5), 1207-1215.
Improving Heterogeneous Catalyst Stability for Liquid-phase Biomass Conversion and Reforming
Héroguel Florent, Rozmysłowicz Bartosz, Luterbacher Jeremy S. (2015), Improving Heterogeneous Catalyst Stability for Liquid-phase Biomass Conversion and Reforming, in CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, 69(10), 582-591.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Frontiers in Biorefining 2018 Talk given at a conference Protect and serve: acetal formation during biomass fractionation as a toolkit for reducing degradation and introducing new reactivity 06.11.2018 St. Simons Island, United States of America Luterbacher Jeremy;
Frontiers in Biorefining 2018 Poster Selectivity control during the single-step conversion of aliphatic carboxylic acids to linear olefins 06.11.2018 St Simons Island, United States of America Yeap Jher Hau;
Frontiers in Biorefining 2018 Talk given at a conference Selectivity control during the single-step conversion of aliphatic carboxylic acids to linear olefins 06.11.2018 St Simons island, United States of America Yeap Jher Hau;
2018 AICHE Annual meeting Talk given at a conference Selectivity Control during the One-Pot Conversion of Aliphatic Carboxylic Acids to Linear Olefins through Tandem Hydrogenation/Dehydration 28.10.2018 Pittsburgh, United States of America Yeap Jher Hau;
2017 AICHE Annual meeting Talk given at a conference Selectivity Control during the One-Pot Conversion of Aliphatic Carboxylic Acids to Linear Olefins through Tandem Hydrogenation/Dehydration 29.10.2017 Minneapolis, United States of America Yeap Jher Hau;
2017 AICHE Annual meeting Poster Conversion of Carboxylic Acids to Linear Olefins By Combined Hydrogenation/Dehydration Reactions 29.10.2017 Minneapolis, United States of America Yeap Jher Hau;
2017 AICHE Annual meeting Talk given at a conference Stabilization with Aldehydes for the High Yield Production of Targeted Monomer Mixtures from Lignin during Integrated Biomass Depolymerization 29.10.2017 Minneapolis, United States of America Luterbacher Jeremy;
2016 AICHE Annual meeting Talk given at a conference Single Step Conversion of Short Carboxylic Acid Mixtures Obtained from Fermentation to Aromatics and α-Olefins over a Cu/ZrO2 Catalyst 13.11.2016 San Francisco, United States of America ROZMYSLOCIWZ Bartocz;
2016 AICHE annual meeting Talk given at a conference Combined Biochemical and Thermochemical Processing of Lignocellulosic Biomass: Techno-Economic Evaluation 13.11.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Mc Clung Katelyn;
2016 AICHE Annual meeting Talk given at a conference Stabilization with Formaldehyde Facilitates the High-Yield Production of Monomers from Lignin during Integrated Biomass Depolymerization 13.11.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Luterbacher Jeremy;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television La lignine peut être valorisée CQFD, Radio Suisse Romande Western Switzerland 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
180258 From Plant to Polymer: Lignin upgrading to high-value aromatic monomers and their derived polymers 01.09.2018 Sinergia
164036 Atomic layer deposition for coating high aspect ratio nanostruc-tured materials 01.12.2015 R'EQUIP
182605 Using protection group chemistry during biomass depolymerization 01.05.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

As Switzerland and the rest of the world searches for alternatives to fossil fuels, biomass offers an attractive source for renewable fuels and chemicals. This is especially the case for fossil-based products that cannot be easily substituted with alternatives such as renewable electricity including specialty fuels (aviation, trucking, etc.) or carbon based commodity chemicals (e.g. alpha-olefins). In this context, mixtures of carboxylic acids can be produced from the fermentation of biomass-derived sugars and, because of their functionality, represent an attractive target for catalytic upgrading. The literature reveals that certain individual carboxylic acids can be decarboxylated, ketonized and hydrodeoxygenated to produce alkanes. However, there has been no systematic study of carboxylic acids across different catalytic systems. Furthermore, the effect of using different carboxylic acid mixtures, which are the typical results of mixed-culture fermentation to carboxylic acids, has not been studied and offers the possibility of a coordinated optimization of biological and catalytic processes to target tailored fuel mixtures. Finally, oxidative decarboxylation of carboxylic acids to produce alkenes, specifically valuable linear alpha-alkenes (linear alpha-olefins) has been demonstrated through homogeneous catalysis but has not been studied using more industrially relevant heterogeneous catalysis systems. The goal of this project is to produce targeted biomass-derived alkanes and alpha-olefins by catalytic decarboxylation or ketonization of biomass-derived carboxylic acid mixtures. If successful, it would provide a technology with unmatched tailoring capabilities compared to other biomass conversion processes and allow for direct use of our products at minimal adaptation costs.
-