WARF: P02136US

Low-Temperature Process to Produce Hydrocarbons from Oxygenated Substrates, Including Sugars


Randy Cortright, James Dumesic

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a low-temperature process of generating hydrocarbon fuel from abundant and fully renewable sources.
OVERVIEWHydrocarbon feedstocks currently are extracted from petroleum reserves in the ground and combusted to generate energy. They are transported easily as liquids, but are non-renewable and their combustion may contribute to global warming.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed a method of producing hydrocarbons from oxygenated reactants such as glycerol, glucose or sorbitol. The method includes the steps of reacting water and a water-soluble oxygenated compound in the presence of a metal-containing catalyst. The reaction can take place in either the vapor phase or, preferably, in the condensed liquid phase. This method allows the production of hydrocarbons from oxygenated compounds ultimately derived from fully renewable plant biomass. 
  • Production of hydrocarbon fuel from biomass
  • Generates hydrocarbon fuel from abundant and fully renewable sources
  • Environmentally benign
  • Combustion of hydrocarbons produced by this invention will not add to net production of carbon dioxide.
  • Contains low sulfur
  • Derived from non-flammable starting materials
  • Can be used for any application requiring hydrocarbons
  • Can be produced in a single reactor
  • Process minimizes production of hazardous carbon monoxide.
  • Proceeds at a significantly lower temperature than the catalytic cracking of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum feedstocks
  • Energy efficient -- no need to vaporize water to steam when reaction is conducted in the condensed liquid phase
  • Mixtures of two or more oxygenated hydrocarbons can be used as starting material.
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Mark Staudt at or 608-960-9845.
The WARF Advantage

Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.