First simultaneous conversion hemicellulose and cellulose to biofuel

To date, when making biofuel from non-food source biomass (for example corn stover – maize leaves and stalks), the hemicellulose and cellulose need to be separated before processing because of their different chemical and physical properties.

Now, US scientists have reported a system that allows them to be processed together; only a single reactor is required and no pre-treatment is needed (pre-treatment and extraction/separation steps can account for up to 30% of the capital cost of a biofuel plant, they say). The breakdown product of both materials, gamma-valerolactone, is also used as the solvent, which means that there is no need for solvent separation at the end of the process.

Read this HOT EES Communication in full today:

Integrated conversion of hemicellulose and cellulose from lignocellulosic biomass
David Martin Alonso, Stephanie Wettstein, Max Mellmer, Elif Gurbuz and James Dumesic
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE23617F

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One Response to “First simultaneous conversion hemicellulose and cellulose to biofuel”

  1. Heather Montgomery, Deputy Editor says:

    Check out the write-up on this article in R&D “Biofuel conversion process cuts costly separating step” http://www.rdmag.com/news/2012/11/biofuel-conversion-process-cuts-costly-separating-step

    (Report comment)

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