Research project corresponding to the call 2011 and reference: CTQ2011-28216-C02-02, within of the Subprogram of fundamental not-oriented research of the National Plan of Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation 2008-2011.
Concerns about diminishing fossil fuel reserves along with global warming effects caused by increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are driving society towards the search for new renewable sources of energy for transport that can substitute fossil sources. Lignocellulosic biomass is abundant, and it has the potential to significantly displace petroleum in the production of fuels for the transportation sector through the transformation of sugars coming from the hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose. Fuels from sugars can be obtained by conventional fermentation resulting mainly in the formation of bioethanol, an excellent alternative to gasoline. However, this conversion has drawbacks especially from the point of view of atom economy and energy efficiency, as well as the low energy density of ethanol and its relative low boiling point and high water solubility. These limitations can be overcome by designing strategies to convert highly functionalized sugars coming from non-edible lignocellulosic biomass into oxygenated high energy density biofuels different from bioethanol and compatible with internal combustion engines.
Hence, the main purpose of the proposal is the design of new catalysts and processes to transform the lignocellulose into high energy density biofuels in a sustainable and efficient way.
Partners: URJC (Coordinator); IMDEA Energy Institute; Novotec Consultores, S.A.
Funding Institution/Program: Ministry of Science and Innovation/Subprogram of fundamental not-oriented research
Period: January 2012-December 2014
Principal researcher: Javier Dufour