Perspective on Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation of Biomass Pyrolysis Oils: Essential Roles of Fe-Based Catalysts
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- Hong, Y., Hensley, A., McEwen, JS. et al. Catal Lett (2016) 146: 1621. doi:10.1007/s10562-016-1770-1
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Catalytic fast pyrolysis is the most promising approach for biofuel production due to its simple process and versatility to handle lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks with varying and complex compositions. Compared with in situ catalytic fast pyrolysis, ex situ catalytic pyrolysis has the flexibility of optimizing the pyrolysis step and catalytic process individually to improve the quality of pyrolysis oil (stability, oxygen content, acid number, etc.) and to maximize the carbon efficiency in the conversion of biomass to pyrolysis oil. Hydrodeoxygenation is one of the key catalytic functions in ex situ catalytic fast pyrolysis. Recently, Fe-based catalysts have been reported to exhibit superior catalytic properties in the hydrodeoxygenation of model compounds in pyrolysis oil, which potentially makes the ex situ pyrolysis of biomass commercially viable due to the abundance and low cost of Fe. Here, we briefly summarize the recent progress on Fe-based catalysts for the hydrodeoxygenation of biomass, and provide perspectives on how to further improve Fe-based catalysts (activity and stability) for their potential applications in the emerging area of biomass conversion.