Processes for Catalytic Conversion of Lignin to Liquid Bio-Fuels like High-Octane Gasoline

Lignin, a complex biopolymer found in all vascular plants is the second most abundant renewable carbon source and is currently obtained as a byproduct in the pulp/paper industry. Lignin conversion into higher value fuels and additives can significantly enhance the competitiveness of lignocellulose-to-ethanol technology. Our technology describes a multi-step catalytic process for the conversion of lignin to liquid fuels (high-octane gasoline) and fuel additives of high quality.

This technology has applications in the bio-fuels, bio-power and other bio-products markets. Based on a recent market analysis, the elimination of MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether) as an octane enhancer will cause a deficit in gasoline octane numbers. Additives produced from lignin conversion processes can be used as an alternate. The potential market for high-octane gasoline is about 2 billion gallons/year and part of that can be provided by the lignin-to-gasoline process.

Stage of Development
A provisional patent application has been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This technology is part of an active and ongoing research program. It is available for developmental research support/licensing under either exclusive or non-exclusive terms.

Additional Info
*Johnson, D. K., Chornet, E., Zmierczak, W., Shabtai, J. Conversion of lignin into hydrocarbon product for blending with gasoline. Am. Chem. Soc. Div. Fuel. Chem. Prepr. 2002, 47 (1), 380-381.
*Shabtai, J., Zmierczak, W., Chornet, E., Johnson, D. K. Conversion of lignin. 2. Production of high-octane fuel additives. Am. Chem. Soc. Div. Fuel. Chem. Prepr. 1999, 44 (2), 267-272.

Inventor(s): Jan Miller, Wlodzimierz Zmierczak

Type of Offer: Licensing

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