Two-step chemical process turns raw biomass into biofuel

Posted on April 15, 2009
Filed Under Biofuels | Leave a Comment

Taking a chemical approach, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a two-step method to convert the cellulose in raw biomass into a promising biofuel.

The process, which is described in the Wednesday, Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, is unprecedented in its use of untreated, inedible biomass as the starting material.

The key to the new process is the first step, in which cellulose is converted into the “platform” chemical 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), from which a variety of valuable commodity chemicals can be made.

“Other groups have demonstrated some of the individual steps involved in converting biomass to HMF, starting with glucose or fructose,” says Ronald Raines, a professor with appointments in the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Chemistry. “What we did was show how to do the whole process in one step, starting with biomass itself.”

–– by Nicole Miller, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

Note: Read the full release . . .

Comments

Leave a Reply




This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.