Catalytic Systems for Biomass Valorization

A special issue of ChemEngineering (ISSN 2305-7084).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 9373

Special Issue Editors


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Chair of Chemical Reaction Engineering and Process Plants, Technische Universität Dresden, D-01062 Dresden, Germany
Interests: chemical reaction engineering; process intensification; structured catalysts; microreactors; modelling and simulation
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Laboratory of Industrial Chemistry and Reaction Engineering, Process Chemistry Centre, Department of Chemical Engineering, Åbo Akademi University, Biskopsgatan 8, FI-20500 Åbo/Turku, Finland
Interests: chemical reaction engineering; kinetics; reactor development; green process technology; process intensification

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The full exploitation of non-food biomass sources (e.g., lignocellulose) represents a fundamental step to pursue the transition from a linear economy to a circular and more sustainable one. Biomass valorization is surely a hot topic for chemical reaction engineering (CRE) science. The main concept is to develop sustainable technologies and novel catalytic processes, driven by the industrial feasibility to lead to a realistic alternative to existing processes based on oil chemistry. The focus in the development includes technological aspects such as:

  • Development of active and selective catalysis (homogeneous/heterogeneous);
  • Design of novel reaction routes and process schemes;
  • Engineering of advanced reactor designs (structured catalysts, flow chemistry);
  • Reactor modeling and simulation for process development;
  • Life cycle assessement (LCA) analysis.

The development of a biorefinery requires a deep understanding of several aspects in the field of CRE, ranging from the development of active, selective, and sustainable catalysts to reactor modeling/design and understanding the industrial feasibility of a process.

This Special Issue on “Catalytic Systems for Biomass Valorization” solicits contributions on novel trends in CRE for biomass valorization processes, aiming to cover a wide range of disciplines involved in the design of a biorefinery.

Dr. Stefan Haase
Prof. Dr. Henrik Grénman
Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Russo
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • biomass valorization
  • catalysis
  • kinetics
  • process design and development
  • modeling
  • novel reactors

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 1731 KiB  
Article
Kinetic Study of Acid Hydrolysis of the Glucose Obtained from Banana Plant
by Mónica Abril-González, Angélica Vele-Salto and Verónica Pinos-Vélez
ChemEngineering 2023, 7(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering7020039 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2123
Abstract
The biomass of crops in rotation, such as that generated by the banana plant, is an interesting source of lignocellulose due to its composition and availability. This research aimed to compare the amount of glucose obtained from different parts of the banana plant [...] Read more.
The biomass of crops in rotation, such as that generated by the banana plant, is an interesting source of lignocellulose due to its composition and availability. This research aimed to compare the amount of glucose obtained from different parts of the banana plant (leaves, rachis, and pseudostem) by hydrolysis with sulfuric acid at 100 °C. This reaction was analyzed to determine the amount of water and reagents consumed versus the glucose obtained. The optimal time and acid concentration were studied between 0–30 min and 3–5% v/v, respectively. The best results were obtained with the pseudostem of 13.02 gL−1 of glucose in a reaction time of 20 min and an acid concentration of 5%. In addition, the kinetic study of hydrolysis was carried out. The adjustment to the Saeman model was R2 0.96, which represents a first-order reaction and kinetic constants K1 = 0.5 and K2 = 0.3 min−1. This study has shown that these residues can be used as raw materials to generate value-added products due to their high glucose content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Systems for Biomass Valorization)
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17 pages, 1511 KiB  
Article
Green Fractionation Approaches for the Integrated Upgrade of Corn Cobs
by João Fialho, Patrícia Moniz, Luís C. Duarte and Florbela Carvalheiro
ChemEngineering 2023, 7(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering7020035 - 12 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1367
Abstract
Corn cob is an abundant agricultural residue worldwide, with high potential and interesting composition, and its valorization still needs to be studied. Selectively fractionating its structural components (hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin), value-added products can be produced, eliminating waste. In this work, integrated fractionation [...] Read more.
Corn cob is an abundant agricultural residue worldwide, with high potential and interesting composition, and its valorization still needs to be studied. Selectively fractionating its structural components (hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin), value-added products can be produced, eliminating waste. In this work, integrated fractionation approaches were developed and evaluated. First, an organosolv process was optimized (ethanol:water, 50:50, w/w). Then, as a comparative method, alkaline delignification (using NaOH, 1–2%) was also studied. The organosolv process allowed a significant delignification of the material (79% delignification yield) and, at the same time, a liquid phase containing a relevant concentration (14.6 g/L) of xylooligosaccharides (XOS). The resulting solid fraction, rich in cellulose, showed an enzymatic digestibility of 90%. The alkaline process increased the delignification yield to 94%, producing a solid fraction with a cellulose enzymatic digestibility of 83%. The two later techniques were also used in a combined strategy of hydrothermal processing (autohydrolysis) followed by delignification. The first allowed the selective hydrolysis of hemicellulose to produce XOS-rich hydrolysates (26.8 g/L, 67.3 g/100 g initial xylan). The further delignification processes, alkaline or organosolv, led to global delignification yields of 76% and 93%, respectively. The solid residue, enriched in glucan (above 75% for both combined processes), also presented high enzymatic saccharification yields, 89% and 90%, respectively. The fractionation strategies proposed, and the results obtained are very promising, enabling the integrated upgrading of this material into a biorefinery framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Systems for Biomass Valorization)
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12 pages, 2035 KiB  
Article
Dibasic Magnesium Hypochlorite as an Oxidant to Tune Pasting Properties of Potato Starch in One Step
by J. O. P. Broekman, Brian W. Dijkhuis, Johanna A. Thomann, André Heeres, Hero J. Heeres and Peter J. Deuss
ChemEngineering 2023, 7(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering7020024 - 14 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1544
Abstract
Modified starches are used widely in the food industry but often have a low nutritional value, lacking minerals vital for the human body, such as magnesium. Magnesium addition to native starches has been shown to result in changes in pasting properties. However, little [...] Read more.
Modified starches are used widely in the food industry but often have a low nutritional value, lacking minerals vital for the human body, such as magnesium. Magnesium addition to native starches has been shown to result in changes in pasting properties. However, little work has been done on the addition of magnesium and other divalent cations to highly oxidised starches. In this work, we used dibasic magnesium hypochlorite (DMH) to oxidise potato starch to an industrially relevant degree of oxidation while at the same time introducing magnesium into the starch structure. We found that magnesium incorporation changes the pasting properties of starch and increases the gelatinisation temperature significantly, possibly due to an ionic cross-linking effect. These properties resemble the properties found for heat-moisture-treated potato starches. This change in properties was found to be reversible by performing a straightforward exchange of metal cations, either from sodium to magnesium or from magnesium to sodium. We show in this work the potential of the addition of divalent cations to highly oxidised starches in modifying the rheological and pasting properties of these starches and at the same time adding possible health benefits to modified starches by introducing magnesium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Systems for Biomass Valorization)
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17 pages, 4349 KiB  
Article
Ti/Zr/O Mixed Oxides for the Catalytic Transfer Hydrogenation of Furfural to GVL in a Liquid-Phase Continuous-Flow Reactor
by Anna Saotta, Alessandro Allegri, Francesca Liuzzi, Giuseppe Fornasari, Nikolaos Dimitratos and Stefania Albonetti
ChemEngineering 2023, 7(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering7020023 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1763
Abstract
This work aims to develop an efficient catalyst for the cascade reaction from furfural to γ-valerolactone in a liquid-phase continuous reactor. This process requires both Lewis and Brønsted acidity; hence, a bifunctional catalyst is necessary to complete the one-pot reaction. Ti/Zr/O mixed oxide-based [...] Read more.
This work aims to develop an efficient catalyst for the cascade reaction from furfural to γ-valerolactone in a liquid-phase continuous reactor. This process requires both Lewis and Brønsted acidity; hence, a bifunctional catalyst is necessary to complete the one-pot reaction. Ti/Zr/O mixed oxide-based catalysts were chosen to this end as balancing metal oxide composition allows the acidity characteristics of the overall material to be modulated. Oxides with different compositions were then synthesized using the co-precipitation method. After characterization via porosimetry and NH3-TPD, the catalyst with equimolar quantities of the two components was demonstrated to be the best one in terms of superficial area (279 m2/g) and acid site density (0.67 mmol/g). The synthesized materials were then tested using a plug flow reactor at 180 °C, with a 10 min contact time. Ti/Zr/O (1:1) was demonstrated to be the most promising catalyst during the recycling tests as it allowed obtaining the highest selectivities in the desired products (about 45% in furfuryl isopropyl ether and 20% in γ-valerolactone) contemporaneously with 100% furfural conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Systems for Biomass Valorization)
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14 pages, 1688 KiB  
Article
Development of an Environmentally Friendly Technology for the Treatment of Aqueous Solutions with High-Purity Plasma for the Cultivation of Cotton, Wheat and Strawberries
by Mukhsindjan Kh. Ashurov, Erkindjan M. Ashurov, Maxim E. Astashev, Ilya V. Baimler, Sergey V. Gudkov, Evgeny M. Konchekov, Vasily N. Lednev, Natalya A. Lukina, Tatyana A. Matveeva, Anatoly G. Markendudis, Andrey V. Onegov, Dilbar K. Rashidova, Ruslan M. Sarimov, Konstantin F. Sergeichev, Shukhrat T. Sharipov, Alexander V. Simakin, Igor G. Smirnov, Sergey Y. Smolentsev, Muzzafar M. Yakubov, Denis V. Yanykin and Ivan A. Shcherbakovadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
ChemEngineering 2022, 6(6), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering6060091 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
The microwave setup for obtaining plasma-activated water (PAW) has been created. PAW contains significant concentrations of H2O2 and NO3, has a reduced content of O2, high conductivity, a high redox potential and low pH. Likewise, [...] Read more.
The microwave setup for obtaining plasma-activated water (PAW) has been created. PAW contains significant concentrations of H2O2 and NO3, has a reduced content of O2, high conductivity, a high redox potential and low pH. Likewise, the specific electrical conductivity and concentration of H2O2 and NO3 linearly depend on the treatment time. These parameters are simple and convenient markers for controlling the preparation of PAW. It has been established that PAW solutions with a concentration of 0.5–1.0% increase the germination energy, protect against fusarium and hyperthermia in cotton, wheat and strawberry seeds. In addition, PAWs have a positive effect on the growth rate of plants in the early stages of development. The use of PAW provides significant benefits over the chemical preparations Dalbron and Bakhor, so-called seed germination stimulators (SDS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Systems for Biomass Valorization)
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