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Thermal conversion of biomass to valuable fuels, chemical feedstocks and chemicals

United States Patent

February 24, 2009
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A continuous process for the conversion of biomass to form a chemical feedstock is described. The biomass and an exogenous metal oxide, preferably calcium oxide, or metal oxide precursor are continuously fed into a reaction chamber that is operated at a temperature of at least C. to form reaction products including metal carbide. The metal oxide or metal oxide precursor is capable of forming a hydrolizable metal carbide. The reaction products are quenched to a temperature of C. or less. The resulting metal carbide is separated from the reaction products or, alternatively, when quenched with water, hydolyzed to provide a recoverable hydrocarbon gas feedstock.
Peters; William A. (Lexington, MA), Howard; Jack B. (Winchester, MA), Modestino; Anthony J. (Hanson, MA), Vogel; Fredreric (Villigen PSI, CH), Steffin; Carsten R. (Herne, DE)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
09/ 858,861
May 16, 2001
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE -AC22-92PC92111 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.