Laboratory scale production of hydrocarbon motor fuel components from lignocellulose: Combination of new developments of membrane science and catalysis
Lignocellulose pretreated with dilute alkali and hydrolysed with cellulases was used as substrate for the processing of acetone–butanol–ethanol (ABE) clostridial fermentation followed by the vapour-phase membrane concentration of two alcohols and acetone with up to 99% degree of recovery. ABE concentrate was used for the catalytic synthesis of fuel components over a zeolite catalyst with aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons as the main products with up to 60% conversion. The zeolite catalyst was effectively regenerated from coking by hot steam treatment with up to 100% recovery in catalytic activity. The main novelties of the process are in demonstration the effectiveness of vapor-phase ABE concentration, its effective conversion to hydrocarbons followed by of catalyst’ regeneration. The process described paves the way to developing renewable technologies for the production of motor fuel components.