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Heterogeneous Catalysts for Converting Renewable Feedstocks to Fuels and Chemicals

Abstract

The combination of dwindling oil reserves and growing concerns over carbon dioxide emissions and associated climate change is driving the urgent development of routes to utilise renewable feedstocks as sustainable sources of fuel and chemicals. Catalysis has a rich history of facilitating energy-efficient selective molecular transformations and contributes to 90% of chemical manufacturing processes and to more than 20% of all industrial products. In a post-petroleum era, catalysis will be central to overcoming the engineering and scientific barriers to economically feasible routes to biofuels and chemicals. This chapter will highlight some of the recent developments in heterogeneous catalytic technology for the synthesis of fuels and chemicals from renewable resources, derived from plant and aquatic oil sources as well as lignocellulosic feedstocks. Particular attention will be paid to the challenges faced when developing new catalysts and importance of considering the design of pore architectures and effect of tuning surface polarity to improve catalyst compatibility with highly polar bio-based substrates.

Keywords

  • Methyl Oleate
  • Solid Acid
  • Levulinic Acid
  • Sulphated Zirconia
  • Solid Acid Catalyst

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Acknowledgements

Financial support from the EPSRC under grants EP/F063423/1 and EP/G007594/1, and the Royal Society for the award of an Industrial Fellowship to KW is gratefully acknowledged.

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Wilson, K., Lee, A.F., Dacquin, JP. (2012). Heterogeneous Catalysts for Converting Renewable Feedstocks to Fuels and Chemicals. In: Guczi, L., Erdôhelyi, A. (eds) Catalysis for Alternative Energy Generation. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-0344-9_7

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