Catalysis in Biomass Processing
||Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry II (Second Edition). From Elements to Applications
Elsevier Ltd.. 2013.
||Biomass, Catalysis, Cellulose, Depolymerization, Extractives, Hemicellulose, Hydrogenation, Lignin, Lignocellulose, Oxidation, Platform chemicals, Pyrolysis
Abo Akademi University, Turku/Abo, Finland
Boreskov Institute of Catalysis, Novosibirsk, Russia
The reasons for the increased interest in lignocellulosic biomass processing into fuels and chemicals are discussed. The key biomass processing technologies, such as gasification, pyrolysis, and depolymerization by hydrolysis, are identified and analyzed. Since sugars are produced in one of these key technologies, namely depolymerization by hydrolysis, their further transformations into fuels and platform chemicals are discussed. Besides cellulose and hemicelluloses built from carbohydrate units, an essential part of lignocellulosic biomass is lignin, which can be a valuable source of aromatics; therefore, its valorization through catalytic reactions is considered. Finally, lignocellulosic biomass contains such extractives as fatty acids and terpenes, which can be used for the synthesis of fuels and (fine) chemicals. Several reactions of biomass processing such as oxidation, hydrogenation, and cracking are similar to the processes widely utilized in the refining and chemical industries. However, due to the large number of functional (hydroxyl and other) groups, processing of biomass requires also other reactions, such as dehydration, ketonization, aldol condensation, and decarboxylation. Basic principles for catalyst selection for these reactions are discussed.