Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Brent H Shanks
A fundamental challenge of producing biorenewable chemicals and fuels is reducing the high degree of functionality of the molecules which is imparted by high amounts of oxygen. High oxygen content in biorenewable feedstocks are associated with lower heating values in fuels and are incompatible with current commodity chemicals. One method of oxygen removal is C-O hydrogenolysis in which a C-O bond is cleaved by the addition hydrogen to form water and it is widely applicable to many organic functional groups. Copper-based catalysts are inexpensive and provide unique a selectivity towards C-O hydrogenolysis with minimal hydrogenation. Several Cu-based catalysts have been studied in the following contributions to develop correlations between potential active sites to catalyst activity and selectivity in a model system involving the hydrogenolysis of 5-methylfurfuryl alcohol. Copper catalysts were also investigated in the hydrodeoxygenation of several lignin model compounds to understand the reaction pathways at lower temperatures and high pressures.
Keenan Lee Deutsch
Deutsch, Keenan Lee, "Copper catalysts in the C-O hydrogenolysis of biorenewable compounds" (2012). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12312.