Special Issue "Applications of Nanocatalysts in Biomass Conversion"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Catalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Juan Carlos Serrano-Ruiz
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University Loyola Andalucía, 41704 Seville, Spain
Interests: thermochemical energy storage; biomass conversion; heterogeneous catalysis; CO2 valorization; renewable hydrogen
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Manuel Antonio Diaz-Perez

Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University Loyola Andalucía, Seville, Spain
Interests: catalysis; electrochemistry; reforming of bioalcohols; biomass conversion; valorization of CO2

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Concerns about depleting fossil fuels and global warming effects are pushing our society to search for new renewable sources of energy with the potential to substitute coal, natural gas, and petroleum. In this sense, biomass—the only renewable source of carbon available on Earth—is the perfect replacement for petroleum in the production of fuels and chemicals. In the last decades, heterogeneous catalysis has played a central role in the rapid development of the petrochemical industry. Similarly, heterogeneous catalysis has been key in moving forward technologies for the conversion of biomass (and derivatives) into fuels and chemicals. However, the different chemical compositions of biomass, compared to petroleum, pose new requirements regarding catalysts. Thus, when applied to biomass conversion processes, water tolerance, multifunctionality, robustness, and resistance to impurities become important features. Controlling the shape and morphology of these solids at the nanoscale is also a relevant factor for controlling selectivity and directing synthesis towards obtaining the desired products.

This Special Issue welcomes manuscripts dealing with the utilization of nanocatalysts for the conversion of biomass or biomass-derived molecules (i.e., platform molecules) into fuels (e.g., bioethanol, biodiesel, liquid hydrocarbon fuels) and valuable chemicals. Papers providing physicochemical characterization of the nanocatalysts and insights into the structure–activity relationship are very much appreciated.

Prof. Dr. Juan Carlos Serrano-Ruiz
Dr. Manuel Antonio Diaz-Perez
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. Nanomaterials 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 2200 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

  • biomass conversion
  • biofuels
  • biochemicals
  • heterogeneous catalysts
  • bioprocessing
  • platform molecules
  • catalytic upgrading

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Importance of Thermal Treatment on Wet-Kneaded Silica–Magnesia Catalyst and Lebedev Ethanol-to-Butadiene Process
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(3), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11030579 - 26 Feb 2021
Abstract
The Lebedev process, in which ethanol is catalytically converted into 1,3-butadiene, is an alternative process for the production of this commodity chemical. Silica–magnesia (SiO2–MgO) is a benchmark catalyst for the Lebedev process. Among the different preparation methods, the SiO2–MgO [...] Read more.
The Lebedev process, in which ethanol is catalytically converted into 1,3-butadiene, is an alternative process for the production of this commodity chemical. Silica–magnesia (SiO2–MgO) is a benchmark catalyst for the Lebedev process. Among the different preparation methods, the SiO2–MgO catalysts prepared by wet-kneading typically perform best owing to the surface magnesium silicates formed during wet-kneading. Although the thermal treatment is of pivotal importance as a last step in the catalyst preparation, the effect of the calcination temperature of the wet-kneaded SiO2–MgO on the Lebedev process has not been clarified yet. Here, we prepared and characterized in detail a series of wet-kneaded SiO2–MgO catalysts using varying calcination temperatures. We find that the thermal treatment largely influences the type of magnesium silicates, which have different catalytic properties. Our results suggest that the structurally ill-defined amorphous magnesium silicates and lizardite are responsible for the production of ethylene. Further, we argue that forsterite, which has been conventionally considered detrimental for the formation of ethylene, favors the formation of butadiene, especially when combined with stevensite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Nanocatalysts in Biomass Conversion)
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Open AccessArticle
Insight into the Ex Situ Catalytic Pyrolysis of Biomass over Char Supported Metals Catalyst: Syngas Production and Tar Decomposition
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1397; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071397 - 18 Jul 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Ex situ catalytic pyrolysis of biomass using char-supported nanoparticles metals (Fe and Ni) catalyst for syngas production and tar decomposition was investigated. The characterizations of fresh Fe-Ni/char catalysts were determined by TGA, SEM–EDS, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET), and XPS. The results indicated that nanoparticles metal [...] Read more.
Ex situ catalytic pyrolysis of biomass using char-supported nanoparticles metals (Fe and Ni) catalyst for syngas production and tar decomposition was investigated. The characterizations of fresh Fe-Ni/char catalysts were determined by TGA, SEM–EDS, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET), and XPS. The results indicated that nanoparticles metal substances (Fe and Ni) successfully impregnated into the char support and increased the thermal stability of Fe-Ni/char. Fe-Ni/char catalyst exhibited relatively superior catalytic performance, where the syngas yield and the molar ratio of H2/CO were 0.91 Nm3/kg biomass and 1.64, respectively. Moreover, the lowest tar yield (43.21 g/kg biomass) and the highest tar catalytic conversion efficiency (84.97 wt.%) were also obtained under the condition of Ni/char. Ultimate analysis and GC–MS were employed to analyze the characterization of tar, and the results indicated that the percentage of aromatic hydrocarbons appreciably increased with the significantly decrease in oxygenated compounds and nitrogenous compounds, especially in Fe-Ni/char catalyst, when compared with no catalyst pyrolysis. After catalytic pyrolysis, XPS was employed to investigate the surface valence states of the characteristic elements in the catalysts. The results indicated that the metallic oxides (MexOy) were reduced to metallic Me0 as active sites for tar catalytic pyrolysis. The main reactions pathway involved during ex situ catalytic pyrolysis of biomass based on char-supported catalyst was proposed. These findings indicate that char has the potential to be used as an efficient and low-cost catalyst toward biomass pyrolysis for syngas production and tar decomposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Nanocatalysts in Biomass Conversion)
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Open AccessArticle
Niobium on BEA Dealuminated Zeolite for High Selectivity Dehydration Reactions of Ethanol and Xylose into Diethyl Ether and Furfural
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071269 - 29 Jun 2020
Abstract
In this work, we investigated the role of solid-state dealumination by (NH4)2SiF6 (25% Al removal and 13% Si insertion), the impregnation of niobium (10, 18, and 25 wt. %) on dealuminated *BEA (DB) zeolite and their catalytic properties [...] Read more.
In this work, we investigated the role of solid-state dealumination by (NH4)2SiF6 (25% Al removal and 13% Si insertion), the impregnation of niobium (10, 18, and 25 wt. %) on dealuminated *BEA (DB) zeolite and their catalytic properties in ethanol and xylose transformations. Among all the studied catalysts, 18%Nb-DB showed increased mesoporosity and external areas. A leveling effect in the number and strength of the proposed two sites (Brønsted and Lewis) present in the catalyst (n1 = 0.24 mmol g−1, −ΔH1 = 49 kJ mol−1, and n2 = 0.20 mmol g−1, –ΔH2 = 42 kJ mol−1) in the catalyst 18%Nb-DB, might be responsible for its good activity. This catalyst presented the highest selectivity for diethyl ether, DEE (97%) with 61% conversion after 50 ethanol pulses at 230 °C (turnover number, TON DEE = 1.15). These features allowed catalytically fruitful bonding of the ethanol molecules to the neighboring sites on the channels, facilitating bimolecular ether formation through a possible SN2 mechanism. The same catalyst was active and selective for transformation of xylose at 180 °C, showing 64% conversion and 51% selectivity for furfural (TON Furfural = 24.7) using water as a green solvent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Nanocatalysts in Biomass Conversion)
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