Renewable Alkanes by Aqueous-Phase Reforming of Biomass-Derived Oxygenates


  • This work was supported by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Chemical Sciences Division, by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a STTR grant, and by Conoco-Phillips. We thank John W. Shabaker, Marco Sanchez-Castillo, Bret Wagner, Juben Chheda and Rupali R. Davdi for technical assistance.


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A clean stream of alkanes from renewable biomass resources is obtained through aqueous-phase reforming in a single reactor. Alkanes are produced from biomass-derived sorbitol through a bifunctional pathway (see scheme) that involves the dehydration of sorbitol on acid sites (SiO2/Al2O3) and hydrogenation of intermediates on a metal catalyst under a H2 atmosphere. Hydrogen is produced from sorbitol and water on the metal catalyst in the same reactor.