Special Issue "Catalytic Conversion of Biomass-Derived Molecules to Chemicals and Fuels"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mark Crocker

Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0055, USA
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Phone: 18592570295
Interests: biomass conversion; environmental catalysis; CO2 utilization using microalgae
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Adam F. Lee

School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
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Phone: +61 3 9925 2623
Interests: surface science; heterogeneous catalysis; green chemistry; synchrotron radiation; porous solids; nanoparticles; alloys; selective oxidation; biofuels
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Karen Wilson

School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
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Interests: heterogeneous catalysis, green chemistry; surface chemistry; heterogeneous catalysts for biorefining; nano-porous hierarchical catalysts; solid acids and bases; hydrophobic catalytic materials
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Conrad Zhang

Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116023, China
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change and energy and materials security represent global challenges facing humanity, arising from past reliance on fossil fuel resources. Overcoming such challenges necessitates the identification and new technologies to utilize sustainable, low carbon alternatives, notably biomass and associated bioenergy. To be truly sustainable, biomass feedstocks must derive from sources which do not compete with agricultural land use for food production, or compromise the environment via, e.g., deforestation. Potential feedstocks include cellulosic or oil based materials derived from plant or aquatic sources (algae), with the so-called ‘biorefinery concept’ offering the co-production of fuels, chemicals and energy to maximise biomass valorisation, analogous to current petroleum refineries which deliver high volume/low value (fuels and commodity chemicals) and low volume/high value (fine/speciality chemicals) products. Catalysis is a key enabling technology to exploit biomass conversion to desirable chemical and fuels, however the inherent high functionality of biomass derived molecules, and conditions under which catalysts are required to operate, present a barrier to the development of commercial processes.

This Special Issue will feature contributions from an associated symposium on “Catalytic conversion of biomass derived molecules to chemicals and fuels” held under the Division of Catalysis Science and Technology at the 255th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans but is also open to general contributions from the catalysis community. Articles will particularly emphasise the transformation of non-lignin biomass derivatives, and encompass: (i) synthesis and characterization of new metal oxides, carbides, or phosphides based catalysts; (ii) experimental measurements and kinetic modelling of reaction rates/activities/selectivities; (iii) fundamental investigation of active sites, their stability and tenability; (iv) reactions catalyzed by bifunctional and cooperative catalysts; and (v) the impact of solvents and co-reactants on reaction rate and mechanism.

Prof. Dr. Mark Crocker
Prof. Dr. Adam F. Lee
Prof. Dr. Karen Wilson
Prof. Dr. Conrad Zhang
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 1300 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.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Magnetic Combined Cross-Linked Enzyme Aggregates of Ketoreductase and Alcohol Dehydrogenase: An Efficient and Stable Biocatalyst for Asymmetric Synthesis of (R)-3-Quinuclidinol with Regeneration of Coenzymes In Situ
Catalysts 2018, 8(8), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8080334
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 29 July 2018 / Accepted: 30 July 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
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Abstract
Enzymes are biocatalysts. In this study, a novel biocatalyst consisting of magnetic combined cross-linked enzyme aggregates (combi-CLEAs) of 3-quinuclidinone reductase (QNR) and glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) for enantioselective synthesis of (R)-3-quinuclidinolwith regeneration of cofactors in situ was developed. The magnetic combi-CLEAs were
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Enzymes are biocatalysts. In this study, a novel biocatalyst consisting of magnetic combined cross-linked enzyme aggregates (combi-CLEAs) of 3-quinuclidinone reductase (QNR) and glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) for enantioselective synthesis of (R)-3-quinuclidinolwith regeneration of cofactors in situ was developed. The magnetic combi-CLEAs were fabricated with the use of ammonium sulfate as a precipitant and glutaraldehyde as a cross-linker for direct immobilization of QNR and GDH from E. coli BL(21) cell lysates onto amino-functionalized Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The physicochemical properties of the magnetic combi-CLEAs were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and magnetic measurements. Field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) images revealed a spherical structure with numerous pores which facilitate the movement of the substrates and coenzymes. Moreover, the magnetic combi-CLEAs exhibited improved operational and thermal stability, enhanced catalytic performance for transformation of 3-quinuclidinone (33 g/L) into (R)-3-quinuclidinol in 100% conversion yield and 100% enantiomeric excess (ee) after 3 h of reaction. The activity of the biocatalysts was preserved about 80% after 70 days storage and retained more than 40% of its initial activity after ten cycles. These results demonstrated that the magnetic combi-CLEAs, as cost-effective and environmentally friendly biocatalysts, were suitable for application in synthesis of (R)-3-quinuclidinol essential for the production of solifenacin and aclidinium with better performance than those currently available. Full article
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Open AccessArticle On the Impact of the Preparation Method on the Surface Basicity of Mg–Zr Mixed Oxide Catalysts for Tributyrin Transesterification
Catalysts 2018, 8(6), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8060228
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4935 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Mixed metal oxides are promising heterogeneous catalysts for biofuel production from lipids via alcoholysis, however, the impact of solid acidity and/or basicity on reactivity is comparatively poorly understood. Two systematically related families of MgO–ZrO2 mixed oxide catalysts were therefore prepared by different
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Mixed metal oxides are promising heterogeneous catalysts for biofuel production from lipids via alcoholysis, however, the impact of solid acidity and/or basicity on reactivity is comparatively poorly understood. Two systematically related families of MgO–ZrO2 mixed oxide catalysts were therefore prepared by different synthetic routes to elucidate the impact of surface acid-base properties on catalytic performance in the transesterification of tributyrin with methanol. The resulting materials were characterized by TGA-MS, ICP-OES, N2 porosimetry, XRD, TEM, XPS, DRIFTS, and CO2-temperature-programmed desorption (TPD). MgO–ZrO2 catalysts prepared by both non-aqueous impregnation and citric acid-mediated sol–gel routes exhibit excellent activity and stability. The citrate routes favor highly dispersed MgO and concomitant Lewis acid-base pair formation at the interface with zirconia. However, for both the citrate and impregnation routes, tributyrin transesterification occurs over a common, strongly basic MgO active site. Full article
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Selective Conversion of Furfural to Cyclopentanone or Cyclopentanol Using Co-Ni Catalyst in Water
Catalysts 2018, 8(5), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8050193
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
Co-Ni catalysts, prepared by a typical wetness impregnation method, can selectively convert furfural (FFA) to cyclopentanone (CPO) or cyclopentanol (CPL) in water, respectively. The catalytic performance depends strongly on the support. It is also strongly influenced by the Co-Ni loadings of the catalyst.
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Co-Ni catalysts, prepared by a typical wetness impregnation method, can selectively convert furfural (FFA) to cyclopentanone (CPO) or cyclopentanol (CPL) in water, respectively. The catalytic performance depends strongly on the support. It is also strongly influenced by the Co-Ni loadings of the catalyst. The 10%Co-10%Ni/TiO2 catalyst showed the highest selectivity toward CPO (53.3%) with almost complete FFA conversion, and the main product was CPL (45.4%) over 20%Co/TiO2 at the optimized conditions (150 °C, 4 MPa H2, 4 h). The surface morphology, surface area, composition and reducibility properties of these catalysts were fully characterized by XRD, H2-TPR, ICP-AES and SEM. The factors that influenced the activity of catalysts were also investigated in detail. Additionally, the stability of catalyst for the hydrogenative rearrangement of FFA was studied. Full article
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