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MULTIPRODUCT BIOREFINERY FOR SYNTHESIS OF FUEL COMPONENTS AND CHEMICALS FROM LIGNOCELLULOSICS VIA LEVULINATE CONDENSATIONS

United States Patent Application

20100312028
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
An integrated method for production of liquid transportation fuels, fuel additives, or chemicals in a biorefinery by the conversion of cellulosic materials is disclosed herein. The method is based on converting a source of C6 sugar such as cellulosic materials and sugars into a mixture of hydrotreated compounds. The biorefinery operates in a unique parallel-processing mode, wherein the initial biomass feedstocks are disassembled to provide substrates for parallel branches whose products may be reassembled in either a condensation step or a mixed hydrotreating step or a final fuel-blending step. The cellulosic materials can be converted to levulinate intermediates that condense with intermediates derived from other processes to produce fuels with the appropriate range of sizes in the target molecular composition, thus generating desirable combustion and physical properties. This method also makes use of methyltetrahydrofuran and other low carbon by-products that are separated for use as amphiphilic solvents. In an embodiment, the method produces cyclic ethers via mild hydrotreating of the condensation products, or long-chain keto ester, useful for plasticizers, by condensing a portion of the levulinate with a reagent containing an unsaturated group. In another embodiment, the method produces a ketal by converting a portion of the condensation product in an acid-catalyzed reaction with a diol.
Olson, Edwin S. (Grand Forks, ND), Heide, Carsten (Grand Forks, ND)
12/ 795,479
June 7, 2010
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT [0002] This invention was made with government support under the Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FG36-08GO88054 entitled "EERC Center for Biomass Utilization 2009," awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.