Special Issue "Catalytic Biomass to Renewable Biofuels and Biomaterials"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Zhen Fang Website E-Mail
Biomass Group, College of Engineering, Nanjing Agricultural University, 40 Dianjiangtai Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210031, China
Interests: nanocatalysts; conversion of biomass; thermo-chemical conversion; biomaterials
Guest Editor
Dr. Yi-Tong Wang Website E-Mail
School of Metallurgy and Energy, North China University of Science and Technology, 21 Bohai Avenue, Tangshan, Hebei, China
Interests: acid-base catalysis; biomass conversion; biodiesel; magnetic catalyst

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Renewable, clean and environmentally friendly biofuels and biomaterials applications are in line with the healthy development of the world's energy and materials in the future. Biomass as the only renewable carbon source on Earth has been proposed as an ideal alternative to fossil resources and can be catalytically conversed to valuable products, such as hydrolysis of lignocellulosic wastes, synthesis of biodiesel and bioethanol, thermal conversions of biomass and organic wastes and so on. This special issue receives original research papers focused on biomass catalytic conversion to renewable biofuels and biomaterials. Submissions are welcome especially (but not exclusively) in the following areas: 

  • Catalysis;
  • Bio-catalysis;
  • Biodiesel;
  • Nano-cellulose;
  • Chemicals;
  • Gaseous and liquid biofuels;
  • Biogas;
  • Ethanol;
  • Butanol;
  • Green chemistry;

Prof. Zhen Fang
Dr. Yi-Tong Wang
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 1600 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

  • Hydrolysis and pyrolysis of biomass wastes
  • Biofuels production
  • Biomass conversion
  • Biomaterials synthesis
  • Novel catalysts synthesis for biomass conversion

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Gel-Type and Macroporous Cross-Linked Copolymers Functionalized with Acid Groups for the Hydrolysis of Wheat Straw Pretreated with an Ionic Liquid
Catalysts 2019, 9(8), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9080675 - 08 Aug 2019
Abstract
Several sulfonated cross-linked copolymers functionalized with hydroxyl and carboxylic groups have been synthesized. The amount of the cross-linking monomer was tailored (from 4% up to 40%) to tune the resulting micro- and nano-morphologies, and two types of catalysts, namely, gel-type and macroreticular catalysts, [...] Read more.
Several sulfonated cross-linked copolymers functionalized with hydroxyl and carboxylic groups have been synthesized. The amount of the cross-linking monomer was tailored (from 4% up to 40%) to tune the resulting micro- and nano-morphologies, and two types of catalysts, namely, gel-type and macroreticular catalysts, were obtained. These copolymers were employed in the catalytic hydrolysis of wheat straw pretreated in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate to obtain sugars. Remarkably, the presence of additional oxygenated groups enhances the catalytic performances of the polymers by favoring the adsorption of β-(1,4)-glucans and makes these materials significantly more active than an acidic resin bearing only sulfonic groups (i.e., Amberlyst 70). In addition, the structure of the catalyst (gel-type or macroreticular) appears to be a determining factor in the catalytic process. The gel-type structure provides higher glucose concentrations because the morphology in the swollen state is more favorable in terms of the accessibility of the catalytic centers. The observed catalytic behavior suggests that the substrate diffuses within the swollen polymer matrix and indirectly confirms that the pretreatment based on dissolution/precipitation in ionic liquids yields a substantial enhancement of the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to glucose in the presence of heterogeneous catalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Biomass to Renewable Biofuels and Biomaterials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Role of Humic Acid Chemical Structure Derived from Different Biomass Feedstocks on Fe(III) Bioreduction Activity: Implication for Sustainable Use of Bioresources
Catalysts 2019, 9(5), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9050450 - 15 May 2019
Abstract
Humic acids (HAs) are redox-active components that play a crucial role in catalyzing relevant redox reactions in various ecosystems. However, it is unclear what role the different compost-derived Has play in the dissimilatory Fe(III) bioreduction and which chemical structures could accelerate Fe reduction. [...] Read more.
Humic acids (HAs) are redox-active components that play a crucial role in catalyzing relevant redox reactions in various ecosystems. However, it is unclear what role the different compost-derived Has play in the dissimilatory Fe(III) bioreduction and which chemical structures could accelerate Fe reduction. In this study, we compared the effect of eighteen HAs from the mesophilic phase, thermophilic phase and mature phase of protein-, lignocellulose- and lignin-rich composting on catalyzing the bioreduction of Fe(III)-citrate by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 in temporarily anoxic laboratory systems. The chemical composition and structure of different compost-derived HAs were analyzed by UV–Vis spectroscopy, excitation-emission matrices of the fluorescence spectra, and 13C-NMR. The results showed that HAs from lignocellulose- and lignin-rich composting, especially in the thermophilic phase, promoted the bioreduction of Fe(III). They also showed that HA from protein-rich materials suppressed significantly the Fe(II) production, which was mainly affected by the amount and structures of functional groups (e.g., quinone groups) and humification degree of the HAs. This study can aid in searching sustainable HA-rich composts for wide-ranging applications to catalyze redox-mediated reactions of pollutants in soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Biomass to Renewable Biofuels and Biomaterials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Selective Production of Terephthalonitrile and Benzonitrile via Pyrolysis of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) with Ammonia over Ca(OH)2/Al2O3 Catalysts
Catalysts 2019, 9(5), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9050436 - 09 May 2019
Abstract
A series of Ca(OH)2/Al2O3 catalysts were synthesized for selectively producing N-containing chemicals from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) via catalytic fast pyrolysis with ammonia (CFP-A) process. During the CFP-A process, the carboxyl group in PET plastic was efficiently utilized for [...] Read more.
A series of Ca(OH)2/Al2O3 catalysts were synthesized for selectively producing N-containing chemicals from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) via catalytic fast pyrolysis with ammonia (CFP-A) process. During the CFP-A process, the carboxyl group in PET plastic was efficiently utilized for the selective production of terephthalonitrile and benzonitrile by controlling the catalysts and pyrolysis parameters (e.g. temperature, residence time, ammonia content). The best conditions were selected as 2% Ca(OH)2/γ-Al2O3 (0.8 g), 500 °C under pure ammonia with 58.3 C% terephthalonitrile yield and 92.3% selectivity in nitriles. In addition, 4% Ca(OH)2/ Al2O3 was suitable for producing benzonitrile. With catalyst dosage of 1.2 g, residence time of 1.87 s, pyrolysis temperature of 650 °C and pure ammonia (160 mL/min carrier gas flow rate), the yield and selectivity of benzonitrile were 30.4 C% and 82.6%, respectively. The catalysts deactivated slightly after 4 cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Biomass to Renewable Biofuels and Biomaterials)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Experimental Studies on Co-Combustion of Sludge and Wheat Straw
Catalysts 2019, 9(2), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9020182 - 15 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This work presents studies on the co-combustion of sludge and wheat straw (30 wt % sludge + 70 wt % wheat straw). Prior to the combustion experiment, thermogravimetric analysis was performed to investigate the combustion characteristic of the blended fuel. Results indicated that [...] Read more.
This work presents studies on the co-combustion of sludge and wheat straw (30 wt % sludge + 70 wt % wheat straw). Prior to the combustion experiment, thermogravimetric analysis was performed to investigate the combustion characteristic of the blended fuel. Results indicated that the blended fuel could remedy the defect of each individual component and also promote the combustion. Co-combustion experiments were conducted in a lab-scale vertical tube furnace and the ash samples were analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). Thermodynamic calculations were also made to study the interactions that occurred. Addition of sludge could raise the melting point of wheat straw ash and reduce the slagging tendency. Co-combustion also restrained the release of K and transferred it into aluminosilicate and phosphate. Transfer of Pb and Zn in the co-combustion was also studied. The release and leaching toxicity of the two heavy metals in the co-combustion were weakened effectively by wheat straw. PbCl2(g) and ZnCl2(g) could be captured by K2SiO3 in wheat straw ash particles and generate silicates. Interactions that possibly occurred between K, Zn, and Pb components were discussed at the end of the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Biomass to Renewable Biofuels and Biomaterials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Carbonate-Catalyzed Room-Temperature Selective Reduction of Biomass-Derived 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural into 2,5-Bis(hydroxymethyl)furan
Catalysts 2018, 8(12), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8120633 - 07 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Catalytic reduction of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), deemed as one of the key bio-based platform compounds, is a very promising pathway for the upgrading of biomass to biofuels and value-added chemicals. Conventional hydrogenation of HMF is mainly conducted over precious metal catalysts with high-pressure hydrogen. [...] Read more.
Catalytic reduction of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), deemed as one of the key bio-based platform compounds, is a very promising pathway for the upgrading of biomass to biofuels and value-added chemicals. Conventional hydrogenation of HMF is mainly conducted over precious metal catalysts with high-pressure hydrogen. Here, a highly active, sustainable, and facile catalytic system composed of K2CO3, Ph2SiH2, and bio-based solvent 2-methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF) was developed to be efficient for the reduction of HMF. At a low temperature of 25 °C, HMF could be completely converted to 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan (BHMF) in a good yield of 94% after 2 h. Moreover, a plausible reaction mechanism was speculated, where siloxane in situ formed via hydrosilylation was found to be the key species responsible for the high reactivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Biomass to Renewable Biofuels and Biomaterials)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Catalytic co-pyrolysis of grape seeds and waste tyres in an Auger reactor as a low-cost strategy in the production of drop-in bio-fuels
Authors: Sanahuja-Parejo, A. Veses, J.M. López, R. Murillo, M.S. Callén, T. García
Affiliation: Instituto de Carboquímica (ICB-CSIC), C/ Miguel Luesma Castán, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain.
Abstract: The production of drop-in fuels from biomass pyrolysis can be considered one of the most economical solutions to valorize lignocellulosic biomass. Biomass pyrolysis liquids, also known as bio-oils, would be mixed to commercially available liquid fuels reducing both depletion of fossil fuels and the negative environmental impact caused by its use. Unfortunately, pyrolysis bio-oils are not miscible with conventional fuels, due to their relevant content in oxygen-containing compounds. Thus, several bio-oil deoxygenation strategies are proposed in the literature, being those carried out in situ the most cost-effective and simple approaches. Specifically, both the incorporation of catalysts to the pyrolysis process (catalytic pyrolysis) and the addition of plastic residues as co-feedstock have emerged as the two upgrading strategies leading to more remarkable results. Interestingly, synergetic results in terms of bio-oil deoxygenation yield are found when both upgrading strategies are simultaneously applied in a catalytic co-pyrolysis process. Firstly, the promotion of hydrogen transfer reactions enhanced by both the higher hydrogen content of the plastic-type residues and the catalytic cracking effect, synergistically increases the aromatic hydrocarbon composition in the bio-oil and, secondly, since catalyst deactivation for coke deposition is one of the main drawbacks in catalytic pyrolysis processes, lower coke formation on the catalyst surface can be evidenced due to the extra H2 production. However, these promising lab-test results need to be confirmed under industrial relevant conditions, as it is studied in this manuscript, where a continuous catalytic co-pyrolysis operation in an Auger reactor using grape seeds and waste tyres as co-feedstock is performed. Remarkably, the catalytic performance of three different low-cost calcium-based catalysts is assessed, identified their role in the bio-oil upgrading mechanism towards the production of drop-in bio-fuels.

Title: Catalytic hydrolysis with reticular copolymers functionalized with acid groups for the hydrolysis of wheat straw pretreated with an ionic liquid
Abstract: Several functionalized copolymers with sulfonic and carboxylic groups and others with only sulfonic groups and hydroxyl groups have been synthesized. The copolymers synthesized have different amounts of crosslinking agent of 4% and 40% and were obtained two types of catalysts, a gel-type resins and other a rigid macroreticular structure. Theses copolymers were employed in the hydrolysis of ionic liquid pretreated wheat straw to obtain sugars. This copolymers with hydroxyl or carboxylic groups are clearly more actives that an acidic resin with only sulfonic groups (Amberlyts 70). In addition, the structure of the catalyst (gel or macroreticular) is a determining factor in obtaining glucose. The gel-type structure giving the best glucose concentration, the morphology of the swollen state of these less crosslinked catalysts favored hydrolysis increasing the accessibility of the acid groups per unit volume and consequently increasing the catalytic centers. The observed catalytic behavior suggests diffusion of the substrate within the swollen polymer matrix and indirectly confirms that the pretreatment based on dissolution/precipitation in ionic liquids yields a clear enhancement in the conversion of biomass lignocellulosic to glucose formation with heterogeneous catalysts.

Back to TopTop