Heterogeneous catalysts for converting renewable feedstocks to fuels and chemicals

Karen Wilson, Adam F. Lee, Jean-Philippe Dacquin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The combination of dwindling oil reserves and growing concerns over carbon dioxide emissions and associated climate change is driving the urgent development of routes to utilise renewable feedstocks as sustainable sources of fuel and chemicals. 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 post-petroleum 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 developments in heterogeneous catalytic technology for the synthesis of fuels 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 bio-based substrates.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCatalysis for Alternative Energy Generation
EditorsLászló Guczi, András Erdôhelyi
Place of PublicationNew York (US)
Number of pages42
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4614-0344-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-4614-0343-2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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