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Issue 24, 2012
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Bimetallic catalysts for upgrading of biomass to fuels and chemicals

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Research interest in biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals has increased significantly in the last decade as the necessity for a renewable source of carbon has become more evident. Accordingly, many different reactions and processes to convert biomass into high-value products and fuels have been proposed in the literature. Special attention has been given to the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass, which does not compete with food sources and is widely available as a low cost feedstock. In this review, we start with a brief introduction on lignocellulose and the different chemical structures of its components: cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. These three components allow for the production of different chemicals after fractionation. After a brief overview of the main reactions involved in biomass conversion, we focus on those where bimetallic catalysts are playing an important role. Although the reactions are similar for cellulose and hemicellulose, which contain C6 and C5 sugars, respectively, different products are obtained, and therefore, they have been reviewed separately. The third major fraction of lignocellulose that we address is lignin, which has significant challenges to overcome, as its structure makes catalytic processing more challenging. Bimetallic catalysts offer the possibility of enabling lignocellulosic processing to become a larger part of the biofuels and renewable chemical industry. This review summarizes recent results published in the literature for biomass upgrading reactions using bimetallic catalysts.

Graphical abstract: Bimetallic catalysts for upgrading of biomass to fuels and chemicals

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Article information

24 May 2012
First published
08 Aug 2012

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012,41, 8075-8098
Article type
Critical Review

Bimetallic catalysts for upgrading of biomass to fuels and chemicals

D. M. Alonso, S. G. Wettstein and J. A. Dumesic, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 8075
DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35188A

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