Direct conversion of cellulosic biomass to biofuels and useful chemicals

Weiran Yang, Ayusman Sen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


With diminishing fossil fuel reserves, the production of liquid fuels and value-added chemicals directly from biomass is of great current interest. Metal catalyzed conversions can accommodate harsh reaction conditions and impurities compared to enzymes, and thus no pretreatment is needed for metal catalyzed cellulosic biomass conversions. Here, we show that cellulosic biomass can be directly converted to 2,5-dimethyltetrahydrofuran, 5-methylfurfural, and 2,5-hexanedione respectively under different reaction conditions with high yield and selectivity. These chemicals are commercially important as solvents or starting materials. Also, since these liquid chemicals have high energy density and low solubility in water, they can be used as liquid fuels or fuel additives. A multifunctional catalyst composed of a transition metal-based component and an acid was employed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
StatePublished - Aug 25 2011
Event241st ACS National Meeting and Exposition - Anaheim, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 27 2011Mar 31 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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