Biomass to Chemicals

G A M M A – V A L E R O L A C T O N E
A Sustainable Liquid for Energy and Carbon Based Chemicals

We proposed that gamma-valerolactone, a frequently used food additive, exhibits the most important characteristics of a sustainable liquid including the possibility to use it for the production of energy or carbon-based consumer products, renewable, easy and safe to store and move globally in large quantities, has low melting (-31 °C), high boiling (207 °C) and flash (96 °C) points, low vapor pressure, a definitive but acceptable smell for easy recognition of leaks and spills, low toxicity, and high solubility in water to assists biodegradation. We have been investigating the selective conversion of carbohydrates to various C5-oxygenates including levulinic and formic acids, gamma-valerolactone, 2-methyl-THF, and alkanes:

Biomass_conversion

A naturally occurring fruit lactone could prove useful as a new type of biofuel … Chemical Science, 2008., 3.