Technologies
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WARF: P06037US

Converting Biomass-Derived Carbohydrates to High-Quality, Long-Chain Liquid Fuels


INVENTORS -

James Dumesic, George Huber, Juben Chheda, Christopher Barrett

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a practical and energy-efficient catalytic process for producing high-quality, long-chain liquid fuels from carbohydrates.
OVERVIEWAlkanes produced from carbohydrates could provide a renewable source of transportation fuel to complement the rapidly growing production of bio-diesel from vegetable oils and animal fats.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed a practical and energy-efficient catalytic process for producing high-quality, long-chain liquid fuels from carbohydrates. The multi-stage process uses combinations of self- and crossed-aldol condensation reactions, dehydration reactions and hydrogenation reactions to yield alkane, alkene and ether products.

Preferably, this process starts with an acid-catalyzed dehydration of biomass-derived carbohydrates. Then an aqueous-phase aldol condensation reaction yields large organic compounds, which are converted into long-chain alkanes via dehydration and/or hydrogenation. The aldol condensation reaction takes place in the presence of a stable, recyclable and solid-base catalyst, which is comprised of magnesium, zirconium, oxygen and possibly palladium.
APPLICATIONS
  • Biofuel production
  • Production of useful feedstocks for making organic chemicals
KEY BENEFITS
  • Alkanes can be used as sulfur-free fuel components
  • Aldol condensation reactions occur in the aqueous phase, enabling the generation of alkanes from renewable resources
  • Unlike the conversion of glucose to ethanol, this reaction does not require an energy-intensive distillation step—alkanes spontaneously separate from the aqueous solvent
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Catalyst maintains significant activity after recycling and is potentially useful in other aqueous-phase catalyzed reactions
  • Reactions are appropriate for many types of reactors, including batch, semi-batch and continuous flow reactors
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Mark Staudt at mstaudt@warf.org or 608-960-9845.
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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.