Monday, April 30, 2007

Catalytic liquefaction of rice husk on Cl-/ Fe2O3

Zhiping Le1, Lizhi Hong2, Roger Ruan1, Shaobo Deng1, Fei Yu1, and Hong Zhang2. (1) Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, (2) Department of Chemistry, Nanchang University, 999 Qianhu, Hong Jiao Zhou, Nanchang 330031, China

With the depletion of fossil fuel reserves and the environmental problems, people pay more attention to look for a new alternative energy source. Biomass is abundant in the world and is a renewable source of energy. In conventional liquefaction process, liquid acid, such as sulfuric acid, was used as the catalyst for the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels. This liquid acid could cause serious environmental and postprocessing problems, in addition the corrosion of metallic equipments. In this work, a kind of novel catalyst was chosen for the conversion of biomass. The liquefaction of biomass was carried out in a stainless autoclave with rice husk as raw material, water as liquefaction solvent, Cl-/Fe2O3 as catalyst (solid super acid). The advantage using solid super acid is that this catalyst was easily separated and can be recycled. The morphology of catalyst was also investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results of liquefaction showed that the catalyst has high activity. Rice husk was completely liquefied at 573K, 3h, and 8% (wt% of the reactant) Cl-/ Fe2O3.