Chemical transformation of enzymatic hydrolysis lignin (EHL) with catalytic solvolysis to fuel commodities under mild conditions
Our EHLCATHOL action aims to completely transform via direct catalytic solvolysis, viz. using a fuel compatible solvent as one of the reactant to fully depolymerize, of a large volume Enzymatic Hydrolysis Lignin (EHL) waste of the 2G bioethanol production from lignocellulose biomass, to produce high performance fuel blends, i.e. high heating value jet-fuel, high octane gasoline and high cetane number diesel. The EHLCATHOL research will focus on gaining the knowledge for improving greatly the catalytic activity and stability, mechanism of suppressing recondensation steps, solvation of login, selectivity to fuel molecules, product separation, fuel performance enhancement, combustion of the EHL biofuel, as well as reducing the environmental impact of the emission, all needed to develop the novel EHL catalytic solvolysis technology exploiting the energy, around 40% of the lignocellulose feed, stored in EHL with the highest efficiency. Our consortium of Aalto, TUE, NTNU, LIKAT, EPFL, CNRS and VERTORO engages with the profound background in biofuel chemistry, catalysis, mechanism and kinetics, operando spectroscopy on organic reactions, fuel performance enhancement, combustion kinetics and modelling, reactor and process design, as well as distillation techniques. We will reveal and overcome the potential factors limiting the up-scaling of the processes, as well as exploit and test the new fuel products and determine their environmental impacts. Our target is to develop a novel technology that fully takes the advantage and utilizes the energy of the waste-EHL, transforms it to high quality liquid fuels applicable, e.g., in hybrid cars, heavy-duty transport vehicles, ships and jet airplanes, thus, doubling the energy efficiency of the 2G bioethanol production chain and contributing to achieve the targeted carbon neutral EU by 2050.