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Title: Catalytic Production of Ethanol from Biomass-Derived Synthesis Gas

Heterogeneous catalysts have been developed for the conversion of biomass-derived synthetic gas (syngas) to ethanol. The objectives of this project were to develop a clean synthesis gas from biomass and develop robust catalysts with high selectivity and lifetime for C2 oxygenate production from biomass-derived syngas and surrogate syngas. During the timeframe for this project, we have made research progress on the four tasks: (1) Produce clean bio-oil generated from biomass, such as corn stover or switchgrass, by using fast pyrolysis system, (2) Produce clean, high pressure synthetic gas (syngas: carbon monoxide, CO, and hydrogen, H2) from bio-oil generated from biomass by gasification, (3) Develop and characterize mesoporous mixed oxide-supported metal catalysts for the selective production of ethanol and other alcohols, such as butanol, from synthesis gas, and (4) Design and build a laboratory scale synthesis gas to ethanol reactor system evaluation of the process. In this final report, detailed explanations of the research challenges associated with this project are given. Progress of the syngas production from various biomass feedstocks and catalyst synthesis for upgrading the syngas to C2-oxygenates is included. Reaction properties of the catalyst systems under different reaction conditions and different reactor set-ups are also presented and discussed. Specifically,more » the development and application of mesoporous silica and mesoporous carbon supports with rhodium nanoparticle catalysts and rhodium nanoparticle with manganese catalysts are described along with the significant material characterizations we completed. In addition to the synthesis and characterization, we described the activity and selectivity of catalysts in our micro-tubular reactor (small scale) and fixed bed reactor (larger scale). After years of hard work, we are proud of the work done on this project, and do believe that this work will provide a solid foundation for the future production of syngas from biomass and the development of heterogeneous catalysts for the syngas to C2-oxygenate process and for the commercialization of this process. Potential future directions for this research are also discussed within the report.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS Synthesis gas; biomass; ethanol; C2-oxygenates