News International Sugar Journal

Discovery of “mini-cellulose” molecule will promote thermo-chemical systems for producing lignocellulosic biofuels [Registered]

A team of chemical engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have discovered a small molecule that behaves the same as cellulose when it is converted into biofuel. Studying this ‘mini-cellulose’ molecule reveals for the first time the chemical reactions that take place in lignocellulosic feedstocks wood and prairie grasses during high-temperature conversion to biofuel. This discovery was reported in the January 2012 issue of the journal Energy & Environmental Science. The “mini-cellulose” molecule, called α-cyclodextrin, solves one of the major roadblocks confronting high-temperature biofuels processes such as pyrolysis or gasification. The complex chemical reactions that take place as wood…

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