SPICY Publications

2018

Functionalised heterogeneous catalysts for sustainable biomass valorization

Putla Sudarsanam, Ruyi Zhong, Sander Van den Bosch, Simona M. Coman, Vasile I. Parvulescu, Bert F. Sels
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2018,47, 8349-8402 – DOI: 10.1039/C8CS00410B

Efficient transformation of biomass to value-added chemicals and high-energy density fuels is pivotal for a more sustainable economy and carbon-neutral society. In this framework, developing potential cascade chemical processes using functionalised heterogeneous catalysts is essential because of their versatile roles towards viable biomass valorisation. Advances in materials science and catalysis have provided several innovative strategies for the design of new appealing catalytic materials with well-defined structures and special characteristics. Promising catalytic materials that have paved the way for exciting scientific breakthroughs in biomass upgrading are carbon materials, metal–organic frameworks, solid phase ionic liquids, and magnetic iron oxides. These fascinating catalysts offer unique possibilities to accommodate adequate amounts of acid–base and redox functional species, hence enabling various biomass conversion reactions in a one-pot way. This review therefore aims to provide a comprehensive account of the most significant advances in the development of functionalised heterogeneous catalysts for efficient biomass upgrading. In addition, this review highlights important progress ensued in tailoring the immobilisation of desirable functional groups on particular sites of the above-listed materials, while critically discussing the role of consequent properties on cascade reactions as well as on other vital processes within the bio-refinery. Current challenges and future opportunities towards a rational design of novel functionalised heterogeneous catalysts for sustainable biomass valorisation are also emphasized.

2019

Advances in porous and nanoscale catalysts for viable biomass conversion

Putla Sudarsanam, Elise Peeters, Ekaterina V. Makshina, Vasile I. Parvulescu, Bert F. Sels
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2019, Advance Article – DOI: 10.1039/C8CS00452H

Heterogeneous catalysis is a promising technology for the valorization of renewable biomass to sustainable advanced fuels and fine chemicals. Porosity and nanostructure are the most versatile features of heterogeneous solid catalysts, which can greatly determine the accessibility of specific active sites, reaction mechanisms, and the selectivity of desirable products. Hence, the precise tuning of porosity and nanostructure has been a potential strategy towards developing novel solid catalysts with indispensable characteristics for efficient biomass valorization. Herein, we present a timely and comprehensive review of the recent advances in catalytic biomass conversions over microporous zeolites, mesoporous silicas, and nanostructured metals/metal oxides. This review covers the catalytic processing of both edible (lipids and starch) and non-edible (lignocellulose) biomass as well as their derived compounds, along with a systematic evaluation of catalyst reusability/kinetic/mechanistic aspects in the relevant processes. The key parameters essential for tailoring particle size, morphology, porosity, acid–base, and redox properties of solid catalysts are emphasized, while discussing the ensuing catalytic effects towards the selective conversion of biomass into desirable chemicals. Special attention has been drawn to understand the role of water in liquid phase biomass conversions as well as the hydrothermal stability and the deactivation of nanoporous catalysts. We believe this comprehensive review will provide new insights towards developing state-of-the-art solid catalysts with well-defined porosity and nanoscale properties for viable biomass conversion.


Bio-acrylates production: Recent catalytic advances and perspectives of the use of lactic acid and their derivatives

Ekaterina V. Makshina, Judit Canadell, Jan van Krieken, Elise Peeters, Michiel Dusselier, Bert F. Sels
ChemCatChem, 2019, 180-201 – DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201801494

Heterogeneous catalysis is a promising technology for the valorization of renewable biomass to sustainable advanced fuels and fine chemicals. Porosity and nanostructure are the most versatile features of heterogeneous solid catalysts, which can greatly determine the accessibility of specific active sites, reaction mechanisms, and the selectivity of desirable products. Hence, the precise tuning of porosity and nanostructure has been a potential strategy towards developing novel solid catalysts with indispensable characteristics for efficient biomass valorization. Herein, we present a timely and comprehensive review of the recent advances in catalytic biomass conversions over microporous zeolites, mesoporous silicas, and nanostructured metals/metal oxides. This review covers the catalytic processing of both edible (lipids and starch) and non-edible (lignocellulose) biomass as well as their derived compounds, along with a systematic evaluation of catalyst reusability/kinetic/mechanistic aspects in the relevant processes. The key parameters essential for tailoring particle size, morphology, porosity, acid–base, and redox properties of solid catalysts are emphasized, while discussing the ensuing catalytic effects towards the selective conversion of biomass into desirable chemicals. Special attention has been drawn to understand the role of water in liquid phase biomass conversions as well as the hydrothermal stability and the deactivation of nanoporous catalysts. We believe this comprehensive review will provide new insights towards developing state-of-the-art solid catalysts with well-defined porosity and nanoscale properties for viable biomass conversion.