Monday, July 21, 2014

Catalyst from CATCHBIO

ChemistryViews wrote of CATCHBIO in 2012:

CatchBio is a consortium of 21 partners from industry and academia, partly financed by the Dutch ministeries of Economic Affairs and of Education, Culture and Science, and with the support office based at the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). It is an ambitious research program of eight years in the field of catalytic biomass conversion covering the whole spectrum of biofeed into fuels, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals in an integrated manner.

Within the text:

Bert Weckhuysen: Yeah, which is unusual for academic research. We have to make our academic researcher a bit familiar with this. Normally researchers are interested in publishing a nice paper in, let’s say, Angewandte and then if it gains enough interest, the research is successful.

From DailyFusion on 21 July 2014:

A new, simple catalyst, developed at the University of Twente, improves the quality of oil produced from biomass before it is even sent to the refinery.

This technology was selected from dozens of projects for the follow-up of CATCHBIO, the national research program that is helping to realize the European 2020 objective: 20% of fuel must come from renewable sources by 2020.


The catalyst developed by Prof. Leon Lefferts and Prof. Kulathuiyer Seshan’s group Catalytic Processes and Materials (MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology/Green Energy Initiative) significantly improves the quality and energy content of the oil.

This is realized by heating the oil in nitrogen to 500 degrees Celsius and by applying a simple catalyst: sodium carbonate on a layer of alumina. By using this method, the energy content of the oil can be boosted from 20 to 33-37 megajoule per kilogram, which is better than crude oil and approximates the quality of diesel. The technology, recently defended by PhD candidate Masoud Zabeti, is already being tested by KIOR in Texas, USA, on a small industrial scale, with a production of 4,500 barrels of oil per day. The quality of the oil can be improved even more by adding the material caesium, as well as sodium carbonate. “By doing so, we can, for instance, also reduce the aromatics, which are harmful when inhaled”, says Prof. Seshan.

The technology is currently being further studied, in cooperation with the University of Groningen, the Energy research Center of the Netherlands (ECN) and Utrecht University, in a new CATCHBIO program of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

Note claim 3 of US 20140120596 .


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