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Title: THF Co-Solvent Biomass Fractionation to Catalytic Fuel Precursors with High Yields. Final Report

Abstract

The overall goal of this project is to utilize the Co-Solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation (CELF) as a platform technology to realize transformation of real biomass feedstocks to fungible transportation fuels. CELF is a solvolysis method that seeks to break the cost barrier for biomass deconstruction so that high yield liquid intermediates from both sugars and lignin can be recovered for their subsequent catalytic conversion to fungible transportation fuels. It is important for the DOE EERE mission to focus on supporting platform technologies that enable greater end-to-end utilization of biomass whereby the co-development of both process and catalyst is streamlined. CELF is one of the most competitive platform technologies that uses multifunctional co-solvents THF and water to provide the cleanest intermediate product streams that can allow advanced catalysts to be developed on real feedstocks instead of model compounds. For this project, we developed a hybrid catalytic process that first applies CELF homogeneous catalysis to convert solid biomass to a liquid stream containing intermediate fuel precursors (FPs) such as furfural (FF) and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF). Afterwards, a second heterogeneous catalytic step was then applied to selectively hydrodeoxygenate (HDO) the FPs produced from biomass into gasoline blendstocks methylfuran (MF) and dimethylfuran (DMF). Concurrently, capitalizingmore » on CELF’s efficient lignin extraction capabilities, we further explored production C9+ cyclic hydrocarbons from biomass lignin to improve overall process economics. For the first step, the CELF process was optimized to achieve yields of >95% for FF and >60% for HMF from the xylan and glucan fractions in poplar wood, respectively. For the second step, we created a patent-pending bifunctional Cu-Ni solid catalyst that is tolerant to real product streams from the CELF process and simultaneously produce MF and DMF blendstocks at >80% yields. To provide more market versatility, we further explored the production of 2-pentanol from MF and have achieved >70% yields. During this project’s three year period, we also developed a dynamically informed technoeconomic computer model that helped to guide key project decisions that allowed us to reach a final biofuel selling price (MFSP) of <$3/GGE (gallon gasoline equivalent) and total biomass carbon utilization of 60%. We also determined that the MFSP in our model could be further reduced to below $2/GGE if the value of the lignin-derived aromatic hydrocarbon fuels could be sold at diesel-range prices (>$500/tonne). Our process model was designed to consume 288 tonnes per day of poplar wood chips with minor consumption of hydrogen to produce a range of fuel blendstocks suitable for use in the transportation sector. The project was successful in meeting DOE EERE program criteria for application of an all-catalytic biofuels process to achieve a biofuel selling price target of <$3/GGE as well as to achieve a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) compared to conventional fossil petroleum processes. At project completion, the outlined catalytic process reported total utilization of up to 60% of the carbon found in biomass, rivaling more mature biological cellulosic ethanol technologies at a fraction of the fixed and operating costs. This project also resulted in 7 peer-reviewed publications, 2 provisional inventions, and 1 patent pending. NOTE: This public version of the document contains redacted text, tables, and figures as indicated within the document.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [1]
  1. University of California Riverside
  2. University of Tennessee Knoxville
  3. University of California Santa Barbara
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University of California Riverside
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1525374
Report Number(s):
DOE-RIVERSIDE-EE0007006
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0007006
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
CELF, pretreatment, biomass, lignin, biofuels, catalysis, furfural

Citation Formats

Cai, Charles, Seemala, Bhogeswararao, Meng, Xianzhi, Parikh, Aakash, Kumar, Rajeev, Ragauskas, Arthur, Christopher, Philip, and Wyman, Charles. THF Co-Solvent Biomass Fractionation to Catalytic Fuel Precursors with High Yields. Final Report. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1525374.
Cai, Charles, Seemala, Bhogeswararao, Meng, Xianzhi, Parikh, Aakash, Kumar, Rajeev, Ragauskas, Arthur, Christopher, Philip, & Wyman, Charles. THF Co-Solvent Biomass Fractionation to Catalytic Fuel Precursors with High Yields. Final Report. United States. doi:10.2172/1525374.
Cai, Charles, Seemala, Bhogeswararao, Meng, Xianzhi, Parikh, Aakash, Kumar, Rajeev, Ragauskas, Arthur, Christopher, Philip, and Wyman, Charles. Tue . "THF Co-Solvent Biomass Fractionation to Catalytic Fuel Precursors with High Yields. Final Report". United States. doi:10.2172/1525374. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1525374.
@article{osti_1525374,
title = {THF Co-Solvent Biomass Fractionation to Catalytic Fuel Precursors with High Yields. Final Report},
author = {Cai, Charles and Seemala, Bhogeswararao and Meng, Xianzhi and Parikh, Aakash and Kumar, Rajeev and Ragauskas, Arthur and Christopher, Philip and Wyman, Charles},
abstractNote = {The overall goal of this project is to utilize the Co-Solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation (CELF) as a platform technology to realize transformation of real biomass feedstocks to fungible transportation fuels. CELF is a solvolysis method that seeks to break the cost barrier for biomass deconstruction so that high yield liquid intermediates from both sugars and lignin can be recovered for their subsequent catalytic conversion to fungible transportation fuels. It is important for the DOE EERE mission to focus on supporting platform technologies that enable greater end-to-end utilization of biomass whereby the co-development of both process and catalyst is streamlined. CELF is one of the most competitive platform technologies that uses multifunctional co-solvents THF and water to provide the cleanest intermediate product streams that can allow advanced catalysts to be developed on real feedstocks instead of model compounds. For this project, we developed a hybrid catalytic process that first applies CELF homogeneous catalysis to convert solid biomass to a liquid stream containing intermediate fuel precursors (FPs) such as furfural (FF) and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF). Afterwards, a second heterogeneous catalytic step was then applied to selectively hydrodeoxygenate (HDO) the FPs produced from biomass into gasoline blendstocks methylfuran (MF) and dimethylfuran (DMF). Concurrently, capitalizing on CELF’s efficient lignin extraction capabilities, we further explored production C9+ cyclic hydrocarbons from biomass lignin to improve overall process economics. For the first step, the CELF process was optimized to achieve yields of >95% for FF and >60% for HMF from the xylan and glucan fractions in poplar wood, respectively. For the second step, we created a patent-pending bifunctional Cu-Ni solid catalyst that is tolerant to real product streams from the CELF process and simultaneously produce MF and DMF blendstocks at >80% yields. To provide more market versatility, we further explored the production of 2-pentanol from MF and have achieved >70% yields. During this project’s three year period, we also developed a dynamically informed technoeconomic computer model that helped to guide key project decisions that allowed us to reach a final biofuel selling price (MFSP) of <$3/GGE (gallon gasoline equivalent) and total biomass carbon utilization of 60%. We also determined that the MFSP in our model could be further reduced to below $2/GGE if the value of the lignin-derived aromatic hydrocarbon fuels could be sold at diesel-range prices (>$500/tonne). Our process model was designed to consume 288 tonnes per day of poplar wood chips with minor consumption of hydrogen to produce a range of fuel blendstocks suitable for use in the transportation sector. The project was successful in meeting DOE EERE program criteria for application of an all-catalytic biofuels process to achieve a biofuel selling price target of <$3/GGE as well as to achieve a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) compared to conventional fossil petroleum processes. At project completion, the outlined catalytic process reported total utilization of up to 60% of the carbon found in biomass, rivaling more mature biological cellulosic ethanol technologies at a fraction of the fixed and operating costs. This project also resulted in 7 peer-reviewed publications, 2 provisional inventions, and 1 patent pending. NOTE: This public version of the document contains redacted text, tables, and figures as indicated within the document.},
doi = {10.2172/1525374},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {6}
}