Tailored Porous Catalysts for Esterification Processes in Biofuels Production

Amin Osatiashtiani, Adam F. Lee, Karen Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


The depletion of fossil fuel resources and concerns over climate change and CO 2 emission have driven the quest for clean catalytic technology for the production of green and renewable energy. Among the future sustainable energy platforms, biomass derived from nonfood sources of lignocellulose, sugars, and triglycerides is the only sustainable source of carbon that can provide low‐cost solutions for transportation fuels and organic chemicals. While these feedstocks offer a great promise, several technical hurdles remain that limit their economic deployment. Biomass pyrolysis into liquid fuels is one such example that suffers from severe limitations that can be overcome only if the bio‐oil is subjected to upgrading treatments to improve its properties. In particular, pretreatment processes to reduce the acidity that will lead to improved lifetime of deoxygenation catalysts are highly desirable. Likewise, the pretreatment of waste cooking, nonedible plant, or algal oils to remove C 12‐C 20 fatty acids during the production of biodiesel is also of great importance. Catalysis has a rich history of facilitating energy efficient selective molecular transformations and contributes to 90% of chemical manufacturing processes and to more than 20% of all industrial products. In a postpetroleum era, catalysis will be central to overcoming the engineering and scientific barriers to economically feasible routes to biofuels and chemicals. This chapter will highlight some of the recent advances in the developments of solid acid catalyst for esterification of biofuels and chemicals from renewable resources, derived from plant and aquatic oil sources as well as lignocellulosic feedstocks. Particular attention will be paid to the challenges faced when developing new catalysts and importance of considering the design of pore architectures and effect of tuning surface polarity to improve catalyst compatibility with highly polar and bulky bio‐based substrates.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNanotechnology in Catalysis
Subtitle of host publicationApplications in the Chemical Industry, Energy Development, and Environment Protection
EditorsMarcel Van de Voorde, Bert Sels
ISBN (Electronic)9783527699827
ISBN (Print)9783527339143
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2017


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