A researcher at the University of California, Davis has developed a chemical approach for the total conversion of plant carbohydrates to biofuels and value-added products.
A researcher at the University of California, Davis has developed a process for converting waste biomass (agricultural, municipal forestry) into 5-chlorofurfural (CMF) in yields approaching 90% of the theoretical. Thus far no other method of biomass deconstruction gives such a high conversion to a simple organic product. The process is completely chemical in nature and inexpensive. Conditions are mild (T< 100 °C) and reaction times are short (< 4 h). By reaction with ethanol or hydrogen, the CMF product is converted into 5-ethoxymethyl furfural and 5-methylfurfural, respectively, both of which are promising biofuel candidates, and the former of which is currently being commercialized in Europe as a diesel additive. By reaction with water, the CMF product is converted into levulinic acid, an industrially important value-added chemical. A secondary product of this process is furfural itself, which derives from the hemicellulose content of plant biomass. Furfural is currently traded as a commercial commodity.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||7,829,732||11/09/2010||2008-516|