Special Issue "Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Rafael Luque

Departamento de Química Orgánica, Universidad de Córdoba, Campus de Rabanales, Edificio Marie Curie (C-3), Ctra Nnal IV, Km 396, E-14014, Córdoba, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34957211050
Interests: green chemistry; biomass valorization; heterogeneous catalysis; nanomaterial design
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Pedro Maireles-Torres

Universidad de Málaga, Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Cristalografía y Mineralogía (Unidad Asociada al ICP-CSIC), Facultad de Ciencias, Campus de Teatinos, 29071 Málaga, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biomass valorization; biofuels; porous materials; platform molecules; heterogeneous catalysis; green chemistry
Guest Editor
Dr. Manuel López-Granados

Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica, CSIC, C/ Marie Curie 2, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biomass valorization; green chemistry; environmental catalysis; heterogeneous catalysis; biofuels

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomass is becoming increasingly important as a renewable feedstock for the production of biofuels, chemicals and energy, as a sustainable alternative to fossil resources. However, it is necessary to develop new technologies that allow the integrated transformation of lignocellulosic biomass, the main raw material, in biorefineries. In this context, catalysis must play a key role by making these processes more environmentally friendly and competitive. This Special Issue is aimed at covering novel and promising catalytic strategies for the conversion of biomass or biomass-derived products into valuable chemicals, including bio-based products and biofuels.

Therefore, we encourage researchers, from academia and industry, to submit their most recent scientific work on this topic. These will contribute to the development and implementation of biorefineries, paving the way towards Bioeconomy.

Dr. Manuel López-Granados
Prof. Dr. Rafael Luque
Prof. Dr. Pedro Maireles-Torres
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Catalysts is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biorefinery
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • green chemistry
  • biomass valorization
  • environmental catalysis
  • biofuels
  • platform molecules

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Biolubricant Basestocks from Epoxidized Soybean Oil
Catalysts 2017, 7(10), 309; doi:10.3390/catal7100309
Received: 5 August 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
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Abstract
This work deals with the preparation of biolubricant basestocks through the ring-opening reaction of epoxidized soybean oil (ESO) by alcohols in presence of solid acid catalysts (SAC-13 resin). To this end, different experimental runs were carried out in a lab-scale reactor, analyzing the
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This work deals with the preparation of biolubricant basestocks through the ring-opening reaction of epoxidized soybean oil (ESO) by alcohols in presence of solid acid catalysts (SAC-13 resin). To this end, different experimental runs were carried out in a lab-scale reactor, analyzing the effect of the alcohol (methanol, ethanol, 2-propanol, 2-butanol), catalyst mass loading (from 1 to 10 wt % with respect to the oil mass) and operating temperature (60–90 °C). The main focus of investigation was oxirane conversion. The study was complemented by FT-IR, 1H NMR and kinematic viscosity characterization of the different products of the ring-opening reaction. Experimental conversion data were fitted through a suitable kinetic model. Values of the best-fitting parameters in terms of rate constant, activation energy and catalyst reaction order were obtained, and were potentially useful for the design of an industrial process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Open AccessArticle Alcohol Dehydrogenation on Kraft Lignin-Derived Chars with Surface Basicity
Catalysts 2017, 7(10), 308; doi:10.3390/catal7100308
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 15 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
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Abstract
The properties of lignin and its potential as a renewable source make it an ideal precursor for carbon products. Specifically, the high content of Na observed in Kraft lignin makes this industrial by-product an interesting precursor for the preparation of catalysts for different
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The properties of lignin and its potential as a renewable source make it an ideal precursor for carbon products. Specifically, the high content of Na observed in Kraft lignin makes this industrial by-product an interesting precursor for the preparation of catalysts for different applications. In this work, basic activated carbons with different textural properties and surface chemistry were obtained from Kraft lignin by direct carbonization at various temperatures. The influence of a further washing treatment and partial gasification with CO2 was also evaluated. The carbon catalysts were tested as catalysts for the alcohol decomposition reaction. In this sense, 2-propanol, a molecule widely used for testing the acidic-basic character of heterogeneous catalysts, was selectively transformed into acetone, meanwhile, ethanol and methanol yielded mainly acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Renewable Diesel Range Alkanes by Hydrodeoxygenation of Palmitic Acid over 5% Ni/CNTs under Mild Conditions
Catalysts 2017, 7(3), 81; doi:10.3390/catal7030081
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Recently, the catalytic upgrading of bio-oil to renewable diesel has been attracting more and more attention. In the current paper, carbon nanotube (CNT)-supported nickel catalysts, namely, 5% Ni/CNTs, were prepared for liquid hydrocarbon production through the deoxygenation of palmitic acid, the model compound
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Recently, the catalytic upgrading of bio-oil to renewable diesel has been attracting more and more attention. In the current paper, carbon nanotube (CNT)-supported nickel catalysts, namely, 5% Ni/CNTs, were prepared for liquid hydrocarbon production through the deoxygenation of palmitic acid, the model compound of bio-oil under a mild condition of 240 °C reaction temperature and 2 MPa H2 pressure. The experimental results revealed that the main reaction product was pentadecane (yield of 89.64%) at an optimum palmitic acid conversion of 97.25% via the hydrodecarbonylation (HDC) process. The deoxygenation mechanism for palmitic acid conversion was also investigated. This study provides technical parameters and a theoretical basis for further industrialization in the bio-oil upgrading process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Advances in Base-Free Oxidation of Bio-Based Compounds on Supported Gold Catalysts
Catalysts 2017, 7(11), 352; doi:10.3390/catal7110352
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
The oxidation of bio-based molecules in general, and of carbohydrates and furanics in particular, is a highly attractive process. The catalytic conversion of renewable compounds is of high importance. Acids and other chemical intermediates issued from oxidation processes have many applications related, especially,
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The oxidation of bio-based molecules in general, and of carbohydrates and furanics in particular, is a highly attractive process. The catalytic conversion of renewable compounds is of high importance. Acids and other chemical intermediates issued from oxidation processes have many applications related, especially, to food and detergents, as well as to pharmaceutics, cosmetics, and the chemical industry. Until now, the oxidation of sugars, furfural, or 5-hydroxymethylfurfural has been mainly conducted through biochemical processes or with strong inorganic oxidants. The use of these processes very often presents many disadvantages, especially regarding products separation and selectivity control. Generally, the oxidation is performed in batch conditions using an appropriate catalyst and a basic aqueous solution (pH 7–9), while bubbling oxygen or air through the slurry. However, there is a renewed interest in working in base-free conditions to avoid the production of salts. Actually, this gives direct access to different acids or diacids without laborious product purification steps. This review focuses on processes applying gold-based catalysts, and on the catalytic properties of these systems in the base-free oxidation of important compounds: C5–C6 sugars, furfural, and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. A better understanding of the chemical and physical properties of the catalysts and of the operating conditions applied in the oxidation reactions is essential. For this reason, in this review we put emphasis on these most impacting factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Open AccessReview A Review on the Production and Purification of Biomass-Derived Hydrogen Using Emerging Membrane Technologies
Catalysts 2017, 7(10), 297; doi:10.3390/catal7100297
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 6 October 2017
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Abstract
Hydrogen energy systems are recognized as a promising solution for the energy shortage and environmental pollution crises. To meet the increasing demand for hydrogen, various possible systems have been investigated for the production of hydrogen by efficient and economical processes. Because of its
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Hydrogen energy systems are recognized as a promising solution for the energy shortage and environmental pollution crises. To meet the increasing demand for hydrogen, various possible systems have been investigated for the production of hydrogen by efficient and economical processes. Because of its advantages of being renewable and environmentally friendly, biomass processing has the potential to become the major hydrogen production route in the future. Membrane technology provides an efficient and cost-effective solution for hydrogen separation and greenhouse gas capture in biomass processing. In this review, the future prospects of using gas separation membranes for hydrogen production in biomass processing are extensively addressed from two perspectives: (1) the current development status of hydrogen separation membranes made of different materials and (2) the feasibility of using these membranes for practical applications in biomass-derived hydrogen production. Different types of hydrogen separation membranes, including polymeric membranes, dense metal membranes, microporous membranes (zeolite, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), silica, etc.) are systematically discussed in terms of their fabrication methods, gas permeation performance, structure stability properties, etc. In addition, the application feasibility of these membranes in biomass processing is assessed from both practical and economic perspectives. The benefits and possibilities of using membrane reactors for hydrogen production in biomass processing are also discussed. Lastly, we summarize the limitations of the currently available hydrogen membranes as well as the gaps between research achievements and industrial application. We also propose expected research directions for the future development of hydrogen gas membrane technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Hydrodeoxygenation of Lignin-Derived Phenols: From Fundamental Studies towards Industrial Applications
Catalysts 2017, 7(9), 265; doi:10.3390/catal7090265
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of bio-oils, lignin and their model compounds is summarized in this review. The main emphasis is put on elucidating the reaction network, catalyst stability and time-on-stream behavior, in order to better understand the prerequisite for industrial utilization of biomass in HDO
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Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of bio-oils, lignin and their model compounds is summarized in this review. The main emphasis is put on elucidating the reaction network, catalyst stability and time-on-stream behavior, in order to better understand the prerequisite for industrial utilization of biomass in HDO to produce fuels and chemicals. The results have shown that more oxygenated feedstock, selection of temperature and pressure as well as presence of certain catalyst poisons or co-feed have a prominent role in the HDO of real biomass. Theoretical considerations, such as density function theory (DFT) calculations, were also considered, giving scientific background for the further development of HDO of real biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Open AccessReview Catalytic Processes for Utilizing Carbohydrates Derived from Algal Biomass
Catalysts 2017, 7(5), 163; doi:10.3390/catal7050163
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
The high productivity of oil biosynthesized by microalgae has attracted increasing attention in recent years. Due to the application of such oils in jet fuels, the algal biosynthetic pathway toward oil components has been extensively researched. However, the utilization of the residue from
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The high productivity of oil biosynthesized by microalgae has attracted increasing attention in recent years. Due to the application of such oils in jet fuels, the algal biosynthetic pathway toward oil components has been extensively researched. However, the utilization of the residue from algal cells after oil extraction has been overlooked. This residue is mainly composed of carbohydrates (starch), and so we herein describe the novel processes available for the production of useful chemicals from algal biomass-derived sugars. In particular, this review highlights our latest research in generating lactic acid and levulinic acid derivatives from polysaccharides and monosaccharides using homogeneous catalysts. Furthermore, based on previous reports, we discuss the potential of heterogeneous catalysts for application in such processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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