Special Issue "Catalytic Processes for The Valorisation of Biomass Derived Molecules"

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
Dr. Francesco Mauriello

Dipartimento DICEAM, Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Loc. Feo di Vito, I-89122 Reggio Calabria, Italy
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Interests: His research activity lies in the field of green chemistry with particular emphasis on the valorization of biomass derived molecules through the catalytic C-O and C-C bond breaking, via hydrogenolysis and transfer hydrogenolysis reactions, promoted by heterogeneous Pd-based catalysts. Another part of his research is focused in the synthesis and the physico-chemical characterization of bimetallic heterogeneous catalysts
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Signorino Galvagno

Department of Engineering, University of Messina, 1 - 98122 Messina, Italy
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Interests: His research activity carried out in both industrial and academic research laboratories is mainly addressed to the heterogeneous catalysis and in particular to noble metals supported on high surface area oxides catalytic systems. A significant part of its interest is focused on the development of selective catalysts for low environmental impact processes and new materials and technologies in the energy sector
Guest Editor
Dr. Claudia Espro

Department of Engineering, University of Messina, 1 - 98122 Messina, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Her scientific activity deals with heterogeneous catalysis and development of novel catalytic green processes . The main topic of her scientific activity lies in the catalytic conversion of natural gas and light alkanes into intermediates, fuels and chemicals of higher added value. Her scientific activity is also devoted to other research subjects related to the conversion of renewable biomass for the production of bulk chemicals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last decades, industrial chemistry is changing its fossil nature into a new green and sustainable identity by using renewable resources for the sustainable production of building blocks and materials. To this regard, inedible lignocellulosic biomasses have attracted a lot of attention being abundand resources that are not in competition with agricultural land and food production and, therefore, can be used as starting renewable material for the production of a wide variety of platform chemicals. The three main components of lignocellulosic biomasses are cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, complex biopolymers that can be converted into a pool of platform molecules including sugars, polyols, alchols, ketons, ethers, acids and aromatics. A lot of technologies have been explored for their one-pot conversion into chemicals, fuels and materials. However, in order to develop new catalytic processes for the selective production of desired products, a complete understanding of the molecular aspects of the basic chemistry and reactivity of biomass derived molecules is still crucial. This Special Issue aims to cover recent progress and advances in both reductive and oxidative valorization of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin model molecules promoted by novel heterogeneous catalysts. In this framework, theoretical and computational models on reaction pawtways leading to a target product and the interactions between reactants and catalyst surface will be important subjects for this Special Issue.

Dr. Francesco Mauriello
Prof. Dr. Signorino Galvagno
Dr. Claudia Espro
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.

Keywords

  • Lignocellulosic biomasses
  • model molecules
  • hydrogenation
  • hydrodeoxygenation
  • hydrogenolysis and transfer hydrogenolysis
  • aqueous-phase reforming
  • oxidation
  • computational models

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication Bio-Glycidol Conversion to Solketal over Acid Heterogeneous Catalysts: Synthesis and Theoretical Approach
Catalysts 2018, 8(9), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8090391
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
The present work deals with the novel use of heterogeneous catalysts for the preparation of solketal from bio-glycidol. Sustainable feedstocks and mild reaction conditions are considered to enhance the greenness of the proposed process. Nafion NR50 promotes the quantitative and selective acetalization of
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The present work deals with the novel use of heterogeneous catalysts for the preparation of solketal from bio-glycidol. Sustainable feedstocks and mild reaction conditions are considered to enhance the greenness of the proposed process. Nafion NR50 promotes the quantitative and selective acetalization of glycidol with acetone. DFT calculations demonstrate that the favored mechanism consists in the nucleophilic attack of acetone to glycidol concerted with the ring opening assisted by the acidic groups on the catalyst and in the following closure of the five member ring of the solketal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Processes for The Valorisation of Biomass Derived Molecules)
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Open AccessArticle Desilicated ZSM-5 Zeolites for the Production of Renewable p-Xylene via Diels–Alder Cycloaddition of Dimethylfuran and Ethylene
Catalysts 2018, 8(6), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8060253
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5594 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The selective production of p-xylene and other aromatics starting from sugars and bioderived ethylene offers great promise and can eliminate the need for separation of xylene isomers, as well as decreasing dependency on fossil resources and CO2 emissions. Although the reaction
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The selective production of p-xylene and other aromatics starting from sugars and bioderived ethylene offers great promise and can eliminate the need for separation of xylene isomers, as well as decreasing dependency on fossil resources and CO2 emissions. Although the reaction is known, the microporosity of traditional commercial zeolites appears to be a limiting factor. In this work, we demonstrate for the first time that simply desilication of microporous commercial zeolites by a simple NaOH treatment can greatly enhance conversion and selectivity. The [4 + 2] Diels–Alder cycloaddition of 2,5-dimethylfuran with ethylene in a pressurised reactor was investigated using a series of H-ZSM-5 catalysts with SiO2/Al2O3 ratios 30 and 80 with increasing pore size induced by desilication. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, 27Al magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance, temperature programmed desorption of ammonia, and nitrogen physisorption measurements were used to characterise the catalysts. The enhancement of conversion was observed for all desilicated samples compared to the untreated zeolite, and increases in temperature and ethylene pressure significantly improved both dimethylfuran conversion and selectivity to p-xylene due to the easier desorption from the zeolite’s surface and the augmented cycloaddition rate, respectively. A compromise between acidity and mesoporosity was found to be the key to enhancing the activity and maximising the selectivity in the production of p-xylene from 2,5-dimethylfuran. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Processes for The Valorisation of Biomass Derived Molecules)
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Open AccessArticle Catalytic Pyrolysis of Chilean Oak: Influence of Brønsted Acid Sites of Chilean Natural Zeolite
Catalysts 2017, 7(12), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal7120356
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
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Abstract
This paper proposes the Chilean natural zeolite as catalyst on bio-oil upgrade processes. The aim of this study was to analyze chemical composition of bio-oil samples obtained from catalytic pyrolysis of Chilean native oak in order to increase bio-oil stability during storage. In
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This paper proposes the Chilean natural zeolite as catalyst on bio-oil upgrade processes. The aim of this study was to analyze chemical composition of bio-oil samples obtained from catalytic pyrolysis of Chilean native oak in order to increase bio-oil stability during storage. In order to identify chemical compounds before and after storage, biomass pyrolysis was carried out in a fixed bed reactor at 623 K and bio-oil samples were characterized by gas chromatography/mass spectrophotometry (GC/MS). A bio-oil fractionation method was successfully applied here. Results indicate that bio-oil viscosity decreases due to active sites on the zeolite framework. Active acids sites were associated with an increment of alcohols, aldehydes, and hydrocarbon content during storage. Higher composition on aldehydes and alcohols after storage could be attributed to the occurrence of carbonyl reduction reactions that promotes them. These reactions are influenced by zeolite surface characteristics and could be achieved via the direct contribution of Brønsted acid sites to Chilean natural zeolite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Processes for The Valorisation of Biomass Derived Molecules)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Mixed-Oxide Catalysts with Spinel Structure for the Valorization of Biomass: The Chemical-Loop Reforming of Bioethanol
Catalysts 2018, 8(8), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8080332
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 12 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
This short review reports on spinel-type mixed oxides as catalysts for the transformation of biomass-derived building blocks into chemicals and fuel additives. After an overview of the various methods reported in the literature for the synthesis of mixed oxides with spinel structure, the
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This short review reports on spinel-type mixed oxides as catalysts for the transformation of biomass-derived building blocks into chemicals and fuel additives. After an overview of the various methods reported in the literature for the synthesis of mixed oxides with spinel structure, the use of this class of materials for the chemical-loop reforming of bioalcohols is reviewed in detail. This reaction is aimed at the production of H2 with intrinsic separation of C-containing products, but also is a very versatile tool for investigating the solid-state chemistry of spinels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Processes for The Valorisation of Biomass Derived Molecules)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Catalytic Transfer Hydrogenolysis as an Effective Tool for the Reductive Upgrading of Cellulose, Hemicellulose, Lignin, and Their Derived Molecules
Catalysts 2018, 8(8), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8080313
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 28 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
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Abstract
Lignocellulosic biomasses have a tremendous potential to cover the future demand of bio-based chemicals and materials, breaking down our historical dependence on petroleum resources. The development of green chemical technologies, together with the appropriate eco-politics, can make a decisive contribution to a cheap
[...] Read more.
Lignocellulosic biomasses have a tremendous potential to cover the future demand of bio-based chemicals and materials, breaking down our historical dependence on petroleum resources. The development of green chemical technologies, together with the appropriate eco-politics, can make a decisive contribution to a cheap and effective conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks into sustainable and renewable chemical building blocks. In this regard, the use of an indirect H-source for reducing the oxygen content in lignocellulosic biomasses and in their derived platform molecules is receiving increasing attention. In this contribution we highlight recent advances in the transfer hydrogenolysis of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and of their derived model molecules promoted by heterogeneous catalysts for the sustainable production of biofuels and biochemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Processes for The Valorisation of Biomass Derived Molecules)
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Open AccessReview Catalytic Hydroisomerization Upgrading of Vegetable Oil-Based Insulating Oil
Catalysts 2018, 8(4), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8040131
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Due to its high biodegradability, high dielectric strength, and good thermal stability, vegetable oil is under consideration as an alternative transformer fluid for power system equipment, replacing traditional petroleum-based insulating oils. Its main drawbacks are its poor low-temperature properties arising from the crystallization
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Due to its high biodegradability, high dielectric strength, and good thermal stability, vegetable oil is under consideration as an alternative transformer fluid for power system equipment, replacing traditional petroleum-based insulating oils. Its main drawbacks are its poor low-temperature properties arising from the crystallization of its long-chain normal paraffins, and its lower oxidative stability arising from its higher concentration of unsaturated fatty acids. Hydroisomerization/isomerization over bifunctional catalysts is considered to be an efficient pathway to upgrade vegetable oil-based insulating oil; this converts saturated/unsaturated long-chain fatty acids to branched isomers. The efficiency of this process depends crucially on the behavior of the catalyst system. This paper extensively reviews recent results on the influence that the metal phase and acidity, the effects of pore channels, and the balance between metal and acid sites have upon the activity and selectivity of catalytic hydroisomerization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Processes for The Valorisation of Biomass Derived Molecules)
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