Special Issue "Recent Advances in Biomass Catalytic Conversion for a Sustainable Future"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomass Catalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 January 2024 | Viewed by 5137

Special Issue Editors

ICB-CSIC, Institute of Carbochemistry, CSIC-Spanish National Research Council, C/. Miguel Luesma Castán, 4, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
Interests: biomass; biofuels; catalytic pyrolysis; catalytic cracking; zeolites; metal oxides
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ICB-CSIC, Institute of Carbochemistry, CSIC-Spanish National Research Council, C/. Miguel Luesma Castán, 4, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
Interests: hydrogen; carbon-based catalysts; bio-oils; biomass; hydrogenation catalysts; catalytic methane decomposition; biomass conversion into platform molecules
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
ICB-CSIC, Institute of Carbochemistry, CSIC-Spanish National Research Council, C/. Miguel Luesma Castán, 4, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
Interests: production of H2; catalytic methane decomposition; nanocarbons; biomass conversion; carbon-based catalysts; bio-oils
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Chemical Engineering, ETSE-Universitat de València, 46003 Valencia, Spain
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; selective oxidation reactions; dehydrogenation; environmental catalysis (catalytic VOCs removal); metal oxides; nanoparticles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The negative effect of the geolocation of raw materials on the economy is more and more important. Against this background, the significance of biomass towards a sustainable development as a renewable source of raw materials with guaranteed access is becoming increasingly relevant. Undoubtedly, catalytic processes must play a fundamental role in this transformation process, where both the design and synthesis of novel catalysts and the development of more efficient processes must be the two pillars on the path towards obtaining renewable products and/or energy. Accordingly, the main purpose of this Special Issue is to collect some of the latest progress made in these fields of research, which will undoubtedly help advance the development of these technologies and make them a reality to meet the environmental objectives set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 Agenda.

Dr. Tomás García
Dr. José Luis Pinilla
Dr. Isabel Suelves
Prof. Dr. Benjamín Solsona
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biomass conversion
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • bio-oils
  • biofuels
  • catalytic pyrolysis
  • catalytic cracking
  • production of H2

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 2680 KiB  
Article
Hydrogenation of Furfural to Cyclopentanone in Tert–Butanol-Water Medium: A Study of the Reaction Intermediates Reactivity Using Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 as Catalyst
Catalysts 2023, 13(11), 1394; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13111394 - 25 Oct 2023
Viewed by 573
Abstract
The catalytic transformation of furfural to cyclopentanone has been investigated using two different liquid phases as solvent: water and 30 wt.% tert–butanol in water. When using neat water at 160 °C, 40 bar of H2, and after 2 h of reaction [...] Read more.
The catalytic transformation of furfural to cyclopentanone has been investigated using two different liquid phases as solvent: water and 30 wt.% tert–butanol in water. When using neat water at 160 °C, 40 bar of H2, and after 2 h of reaction time, furfural polymerizes, and the yield of cyclopentanone is just 42% with a low carbon balance, indicating that furfural is transformed to non-detected by-products, likely heavy resins. When using 30 wt.% tert–butanol in water, the yield of cyclopentanone is ca. 20%, and the major product is furfuryl alcohol with a 47% yield. We have studied the catalytic transformation of the most relevant reaction intermediates in the overall conversion of furfural to cyclopentanone. In the presence of tert–butanol, two steps are inhibited in the overall pathway: (i) the Piancatelli rearrangement of furfuryl alcohol and (ii) the transformation of cyclopentenone. This inhibition is attributed to the neutralization of protons from water dissociation by surface sites on the catalyst, preventing their participation in the overall reaction. To counteract these inhibitions when tert–butanol is present, higher H2 pressure (60 bar) and temperatures (200 °C) are required. We have been able to obtain productivities per gram of catalyst and mols of Cu basis of 411 gprod·h−1·gcat−1 and 14 gprod·s−1·molCu−1, respectively, which is substantially above that found for other copper-based catalysts. Full article
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20 pages, 2952 KiB  
Article
Enhancing the Production of Syngas from Spent Green Tea Waste through Dual-Stage Pyrolysis and Catalytic Cracking
Catalysts 2023, 13(10), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13101334 - 30 Sep 2023
Viewed by 754
Abstract
A sequential two-step thermochemical process was studied for spent green tea waste (SGTW), involving an initial pyrolysis step followed by thermal or catalytic cracking. This process was carried out in two bench-scale reactors (fixed bed reactor and tubular reactor) serially coupled. At a [...] Read more.
A sequential two-step thermochemical process was studied for spent green tea waste (SGTW), involving an initial pyrolysis step followed by thermal or catalytic cracking. This process was carried out in two bench-scale reactors (fixed bed reactor and tubular reactor) serially coupled. At a fixed pyrolysis temperature of SGTW (550 °C), the application of high cracking temperatures (700 and 800 °C) positively affected both the yield and composition of the gas product. Consequently, it has the potential to be used for the production of diverse biofuels and chemicals, or to be partially recycled to optimize the process efficiency. Moreover, the use of inexpensive catalysts, particularly dolomite, was considered advantageous, since the syngas yield (56.5 wt%) and its potential were greatly enhanced, reaching a H2/CO ratio of 1.5. The homogenous biochar obtained, with a calorific value of 26.84 MJ/kg, could be harnessed as good-quality fuel for briquette applications and as a biofuel source for generating stationary power. Furthermore, catalytic cracking pyrolysis was examined for different types of coffee waste, revealing that this process is a simple and clean solution to valorize oxygen-rich lignocellulosic biomass and generate valuable gaseous by-products. Full article
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13 pages, 1089 KiB  
Article
One Step Catalytic Conversion of Polysaccharides in Ulva prolifera to Lactic Acid and Value-Added Chemicals
Catalysts 2023, 13(2), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13020262 - 23 Jan 2023
Viewed by 904
Abstract
The production of lactic acid and value-added chemicals (such as hydroxypropanone, glycolic acid, and formic acid) directly from Ulva prolifera via one-step catalytic process was studied. The effect of different amounts of YCl3-derived catalysts on the hydrothermal conversion of carbohydrates in [...] Read more.
The production of lactic acid and value-added chemicals (such as hydroxypropanone, glycolic acid, and formic acid) directly from Ulva prolifera via one-step catalytic process was studied. The effect of different amounts of YCl3-derived catalysts on the hydrothermal conversion of carbohydrates in Ulva prolifera was explored, and the reaction conditions were optimized. In this catalytic system, rhamnose could be extracted from Ulva prolifera and converted in situ into lactic acid and hydroxypropanone at 160 °C, while all the glucose, xylose, and rhamnose were fractionated and completely converted to lactic acid at 220 °C or at a higher temperature, via several consecutive and/or parallel catalytic processes. The highest yield of lactic acid obtained was 31.4 wt% under the optimized conditions. The hydrothermal conversion of Ulva prolifera occurred rapidly (within 10 min) and showed promise to valorize Ulva prolifera. Full article
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14 pages, 2250 KiB  
Article
Impact of Bentonite Clay on In Situ Pyrolysis vs. Hydrothermal Carbonization of Avocado Pit Biomass
Catalysts 2022, 12(6), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12060655 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2249
Abstract
Biofuels produced via thermochemical conversions of waste biomass could be sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels but currently require costly downstream upgrading to be used in existing infrastructure. In this work, we explore how a low-cost, abundant clay mineral, bentonite, could serve as an [...] Read more.
Biofuels produced via thermochemical conversions of waste biomass could be sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels but currently require costly downstream upgrading to be used in existing infrastructure. In this work, we explore how a low-cost, abundant clay mineral, bentonite, could serve as an in situ heterogeneous catalyst for two different thermochemical conversion processes: pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC). Avocado pits were combined with 20 wt% bentonite clay and were pyrolyzed at 600 °C and hydrothermally carbonized at 250 °C, commonly used conditions across the literature. During pyrolysis, bentonite clay promoted Diels–Alder reactions that transformed furans to aromatic compounds, which decreased the bio-oil oxygen content and produced a fuel closer to being suitable for existing infrastructure. The HTC bio-oil without the clay catalyst contained 100% furans, mainly 5-methylfurfural, but in the presence of the clay, approximately 25% of the bio-oil was transformed to 2-methyl-2-cyclopentenone, thereby adding two hydrogen atoms and removing one oxygen. The use of clay in both processes decreased the relative oxygen content of the bio-oils. Proximate analysis of the resulting chars showed an increase in fixed carbon (FC) and a decrease in volatile matter (VM) with clay inclusion. By containing more FC, the HTC-derived char may be more stable than pyrolysis-derived char for environmental applications. The addition of bentonite clay to both processes did not produce significantly different bio-oil yields, such that by adding a clay catalyst, a more valuable bio-oil was produced without reducing the amount of bio-oil recovered. Full article
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