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Development of hierarchically structured heterogeneous catalysts with mixed crystallographic structure for potential production of biomass-derived levulinic acid

Grant number: 20/10737-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Technology
Principal Investigator:Jose Geraldo Nery
Grantee:Vinicius Litrenta Medeiros
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):22/14186-8 - Catalytic application of hierarchical structured OPT materials for biomass conversion into chemical commodities: 1,5-pentanediol; 1,6-hexanediol, levoglucosenone and levulinic acid, BE.EP.DR


The high energy demand of modern society, concomitant with the growing need for chemical products and inputs, motivates scientific research for new sources of raw materials that can be exploited to supply these needs, and at the same time contribute to the preservation of the environment. There are different sources of biomass meet these requirements. According to the literature, there are twelve block molecules derived from biomass that can be used to meet the needs of various industrial processes, including levulinic acid. Currently, part of the catalytic technology for converting biomass into levulinic acid is based on homogeneous acid catalysts, and this technology has many disadvantages compared to heterogeneous catalysts. The propouse of this research project is the development of heterogeneous acid catalysts that can be used in this conversion process. The catalysts will be produced based on zeolitic frameworks, however the aluminum present in the zeolite structure will be replaced by Cr, Ge, Nb, Sn, Y, V and Zr, producing crystals of mixed crystallographic structure. The synthesis of the catalysts will use organic templates, such as piperidine derivatives, organosilanes and others. Two different organic templates will be added to the synthesis gels, in order to produce pores of different sizes and thus generate a hierarchically structured material. The materials will be characterized by different techniques, such as XRD, FT-IR, SEM, TEM. Finally, these materials will be tested in the conversion of glucose into levulinic acid. (AU)

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