Project Number: 8072-41000-082-09-S
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 1, 2012
End Date: Feb 28, 2014
To develop a method for the catalytic depolymerization of pyrolytic lignin into chemical feedstocks. Design of new catalysts with high conversion and high selectivity for C-O bond cleavage in lignin for production of chemical intermediates and subsequent production of alkane based fuels.
Catalysts will be synthesized and screened using small molecule analogs of lignin as well as samples of pyrolytic lignin from biomass pyrolysis using reactor systems developed at ARS (process development unit, PDU). Catalysts will be evaluated in terms of rate, selectivity, and lifetime; the best catalyst candidates will be synthesized and screened using small molecule analogs of lignin scaled up and incorporated into the ARS PDU for further testing. The best candidates will also be further studied at the bench scale using lignin analogs to develop an understanding of their reaction mechanisms so that the catalysts can be further optimized using an intelligent design.