Special Issue "Recent Advances in Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Pedro Maireles-Torres
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Guest Editor
Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Crystallography and Mineralogy, Faculty of Sciences, University of Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071 Málaga, Spain
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; biomass valorization; biofuels; porous materials; biosourced molecules; green chemistry; environmental catalysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Manuel López-Granados
Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica (CSIC), Energy and Sustainable Chemistry Group, C/ Marie Curie 2, Campus de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: biomass valorization; green chemistry; environmental catalysis; heterogeneous catalysis; biofuels
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Cristina García-Sancho

Guest Editor
Department Química Inorgánica, Cristalografía y Mineralogía, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Spain
Interests: catalysis with low valent transition metal complexes; heterogeneous catalysts; mesoporous materials; biomass valorization; biofuel and bioproducts
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

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.

Prof. Dr. Pedro Maireles-Torres
Prof. Dr. Rafael Luque
Prof. Dr. Manuel López-Granados
Dr. Cristina García-Sancho
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 2000 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 (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Crude Glycerol/Guishe Based Catalysts for Biodiesel Production: Conforming a Guishe Biorefinery
Catalysts 2021, 11(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11010003 - 22 Dec 2020
Abstract
Biodiesel production imposes some challenges, such as the crude glycerol management and cleaning requirements of biodiesel produced by homogeneous transesterification. Heterogeneous catalysts based on residual biomass have been proposed to tackle these challenges; in addition, biomass revalorization is fundamental for biorefineries development. In [...] Read more.
Biodiesel production imposes some challenges, such as the crude glycerol management and cleaning requirements of biodiesel produced by homogeneous transesterification. Heterogeneous catalysts based on residual biomass have been proposed to tackle these challenges; in addition, biomass revalorization is fundamental for biorefineries development. In this research, two organic wastes (crude glycerol and guise) are used to synthesize carbonaceous catalysts. Four catalysts, with different crude glycerol/guishe proportions, were prepared by pyrolysis at 800 and 900 °C, followed by a chemical functionalization with H2SO4. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) were used to characterize the catalysts. The performance of the catalysts was evaluated in a soybean oil transesterification reaction. The crude glycerol/guishe based catalysts lead to similar biodiesel yields than the obtained with a conventional homogeneous catalyst (CH3NaO). The catalyst identified as BS-25-8 (a mixture of 25% guishe and 75% crude glycerol, pyrolyzed at 800 °C and sulfonated), in a proportion of 1 wt%, achieved the highest fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) yield (99%) in the transesterification reaction, even surpassing the performance of the CH3NaO (yield of 93%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Catalytic Activity of Mixed Al2O3-ZrO2 Oxides for Glucose Conversion into 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural
Catalysts 2020, 10(8), 878; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10080878 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
In the present work, a series of catalysts based on aluminum and zirconium oxides was studied for the transformation of glucose into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. These catalysts were characterized by using experimental techniques, such as X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption–desorption at −196 °C, X-ray photoelectron [...] Read more.
In the present work, a series of catalysts based on aluminum and zirconium oxides was studied for the transformation of glucose into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. These catalysts were characterized by using experimental techniques, such as X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption–desorption at −196 °C, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, temperature-programmed desorption of NH3 and CO2, and scanning transmission electron microscopy. The catalytic behavior in glucose dehydration was evaluated in a water-methyl isobutyl ketone biphasic system, in the presence of CaCl2, in order to minimize losses due to unwanted secondary reactions. High glucose conversion and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) yield values were obtained in the presence of an Al(Zr)Ox catalyst with an Al:Zr molar ratio of 7:3, reaching 97% and 47%, respectively, at 150 °C after 120 min. Under tested conditions, this catalyst retained most of its catalytic activity for four reuses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Synthesis of Epoxidized Cynara C. Seed Oil
Catalysts 2020, 10(7), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10070721 - 27 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The use of non-edible vegetable oils to produce oleochemicals has been attracting more attention in recent years. Cardoon seed oil, derived from the Cynara C. plant, growing in marginal and contaminated lands, represents a non-edible alternative to soybean oil to obtain plasticizers through [...] Read more.
The use of non-edible vegetable oils to produce oleochemicals has been attracting more attention in recent years. Cardoon seed oil, derived from the Cynara C. plant, growing in marginal and contaminated lands, represents a non-edible alternative to soybean oil to obtain plasticizers through epoxidation reaction. The use of hydrogen peroxide as oxidant and in the presence of a heterogeneous catalyst allows overcoming the limits of epoxidation with peracids. γ-alumina has been shown to have an active catalyst epoxidation reaction with hydrogen peroxide, mainly using acetonitrile as solvent. However, the use of acetonitrile as solvent is widely debated due to its hazardous character and health issues. For these reasons, the influence of solvent on the reaction was studied in this work to find a more environmentally friendly and stable solvent. The study showed that the epoxidation reaction takes place also in the absence of solvent although with lower selectivity. The type of solvent influences both the epoxidation and decomposition reactions of hydrogen peroxide. γ-valerolactone was found to be the most promising solvent for cardoon oil epoxidation reaction. This finding represents a noteworthy novelty in the field of epoxidation of vegetable oils with hydrogen peroxide, opening the way to greener and cleaner process. Finally, an optimization study showed that the most effective molar ratio between hydrogen peroxide and double bonds for better selectivity was 4.5 and the need to use the highest possible initial concentration of hydrogen peroxide (approximately 60 wt. %). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Open AccessArticle
Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Lignin Isolated by Hybrid Organosolv—Steam Explosion Pretreatment of Hardwood and Softwood Biomass for the Production of Phenolics and Aromatics
Catalysts 2019, 9(11), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9110935 - 08 Nov 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Lignin, one of the three main structural biopolymers of lignocellulosic biomass, is the most abundant natural source of aromatics with a great valorization potential towards the production of fuels, chemicals, and polymers. Although kraft lignin and lignosulphonates, as byproducts of the pulp/paper industry, [...] Read more.
Lignin, one of the three main structural biopolymers of lignocellulosic biomass, is the most abundant natural source of aromatics with a great valorization potential towards the production of fuels, chemicals, and polymers. Although kraft lignin and lignosulphonates, as byproducts of the pulp/paper industry, are available in vast amounts, other types of lignins, such as the organosolv or the hydrolysis lignin, are becoming increasingly important, as they are side-streams of new biorefinery processes aiming at the (bio)catalytic valorization of biomass sugars. Within this context, in this work, we studied the thermal (non-catalytic) and catalytic fast pyrolysis of softwood (spruce) and hardwood (birch) lignins, isolated by a hybrid organosolv–steam explosion biomass pretreatment method in order to investigate the effect of lignin origin/composition on product yields and lignin bio-oil composition. The catalysts studied were conventional microporous ZSM-5 (Zeolite Socony Mobil–5) zeolites and hierarchical ZSM-5 zeolites with intracrystal mesopores (i.e., 9 and 45 nm) or nano-sized ZSM-5 with a high external surface. All ZSM-5 zeolites were active in converting the initially produced via thermal pyrolysis alkoxy-phenols (i.e., of guaiacyl and syringyl/guaiacyl type for spruce and birch lignin, respectively) towards BTX (benzene, toluene, xylene) aromatics, alkyl-phenols and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, mainly naphthalenes), with the mesoporous ZSM-5 exhibiting higher dealkoxylation reactivity and being significantly more selective towards mono-aromatics compared to the conventional ZSM-5, for both spruce and birch lignin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Towards the Green Synthesis of Furfuryl Alcohol in A One-Pot System from Xylose: A Review
Catalysts 2020, 10(10), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10101101 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
In the pursuit of establishing a sustainable biobased economy, valorization of lignocellulosic biomass is increasing its value as a feedstock. Nevertheless, to achieve the integrated biorefinery paradigm, the selective fractionation of its complex matrix to its single constituents must be complete. This review [...] Read more.
In the pursuit of establishing a sustainable biobased economy, valorization of lignocellulosic biomass is increasing its value as a feedstock. Nevertheless, to achieve the integrated biorefinery paradigm, the selective fractionation of its complex matrix to its single constituents must be complete. This review presents and examines the novel catalytic pathways to form furfuryl alcohol (FuOH) from xylose in a one-pot system. This production concept takes on chemical, thermochemical and biochemical transformations or a combination of them. Still, the bulk of the research is targeted to develop heterogeneous catalytic systems to synthesize FuOH from furfural and xylose. The present review includes an overview of the economic aspects to produce this platform chemical in an industrial manner. In the last section of this review, an outlook and summary of catalytic processes to produce FuOH are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
A Short Overview on the Hydrogen Production Via Aqueous Phase Reforming (APR) of Cellulose, C6-C5 Sugars and Polyols
Catalysts 2019, 9(11), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9110917 - 03 Nov 2019
Cited by 18
Abstract
The use of lignocellulosic biomasses for the production of renewable hydrogen is surely among the hot-topic research tasks. In this review, we report on the recent advances in the catalytic conversion of cellulose and its derived C6-C5 sugars (glucose, fructose, and xylose) and [...] Read more.
The use of lignocellulosic biomasses for the production of renewable hydrogen is surely among the hot-topic research tasks. In this review, we report on the recent advances in the catalytic conversion of cellulose and its derived C6-C5 sugars (glucose, fructose, and xylose) and polyols (sorbitol and xylitol) into hydrogen via aqueous phase reforming (APR) reactions. The APR processes are considered to be new sustainable catalytic routes for converting the carbohydrate fraction of biomasses into hydrogen at milder reaction conditions if compared with the traditional reforming reactions. Particular emphasis is given to the development of new and active catalysts and to the optimization of reaction conditions that aimed to maximize hydrogen production with a low concentration of CO avoiding, at the same time, the formation of alkanes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Catalytic Sustainable Processes in Biorefineries)
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