Selective hydrogenation of biomass derived compounds to biofuels using polyoxometalate Catalysts

In order to increase the material value added from biomass, which is the only renewable carbon source available, secondary energy sources derived from biomass are converted into higher-quality platform chemicals by hydrogenation in the proposed research project. For this purpose, the bio derived compounds Dimethylfuran, Methylfuran, and furan in combination with renewable hydrogen from i.e. electrolysis will be hydrogenated to bio-hexanol, bio-pentanol and bio-butanol, respectively. Those alcohols have a great importance in many industrial branches.

In this project, a benchmark using commercial catalysts will be tested for the hydrogenation reaction of those bio-mass derived Compounds at first, then various polyoxometalate structures should be synthesized and used as selective hydrogenation catalysts for the production of the above mentioned bio-alcohols. These bio-alcohols are used as solvents for the extraction of essential oils, natural resins, dyes and antibiotics, as well as a component of hydraulic and brake fluids. In addition, they are considered as potential biofuels that can replace diesel and gasoline fuels.

This project is founded by DAAD since April 2019 in the form of a German Egyptian Research Long-term Scholarship (GERLS).