A Novel Catalytic Strategy for the Production of Liquid Fuels from Ligno-cellulosic Biomass

Carlos A. Henao, Drew J. Braden, Christos T. Maravelias, James A. Dumesic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Levulinic acid has recently been identified as a potential platform chemical that can be produced from agricultural waste and can lead to specialty chemicals, fuel additives and liquid fuels. Based on this versatile molecule, we have developed a catalytic cascade approach to convert solid cellulose into liquid hydrocarbon fuels for use in the transportation sector. Following a systems approach, a conceptual process synthesis effort was undertaken, leading to a novel process that combines the mentioned catalytic cascade with proper separation and recycle operations. A techno-economic analysis based on detailed simulation (accounting for experimental reaction conditions and yields) as well as detailed equipment sizing and costing was performed, followed by sensitivity analysis studies to identify the key economic parameters. Furthermore, to assess its economic attractiveness, the process was compared to a benchmark lignocellulosic bio-ethanol production facility. Finally, we considered two different types of biomass. Our studies indicate that the proposed strategy is economically attractive when biomass with high C6-sugar content is used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1723-1727
Number of pages5
JournalComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Levulinic acid
  • Ligno-cellulosic Biomass
  • Liquid Fuels
  • Renewable Energy


Dive into the research topics of 'A Novel Catalytic Strategy for the Production of Liquid Fuels from Ligno-cellulosic Biomass'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this