New Way To Renewable Chemical Feedstock

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published: 27 November 2010
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Science/AAAS
thumbnail image: New Way To Renewable Chemical Feedstock

Pyrolysis oils are made from waste wood, agricultural waste and non-food energy crop. They are used to produce high-value materials ranging from solvents and detergents to plastics and fibers. They are the cheapest of the liquid fuels, derived from biomass, that are available today.


George Huber and co-workers, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA, have developed a way to produce high-volume chemical feedstocks including benzene, toluene, xylenes and olefins from pyrolytic bio-oils.


They use a two-step, integrated catalytic approach starting with a tunable, variable-reaction hydrogenation stage followed by catalytic step with a zeolite which converts hydrogenated products into light olefins and aromatic hydrocarbons. The integrated catalytic can be tuned, through control of temperature and other reaction conditions, to produce a targeted distributions of olefins. This allows the products to be tuned to change with different market conditions.


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