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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:PURDUE UNIVERSITY
Doing Business As Name:Purdue University
PD/PI:
  • Rakesh Agrawal
  • (765) 494-2257
  • agrawalr@purdue.edu
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • Fabio H Ribeiro
  • Maureen McCann
  • MAHDI ABU-OMAR
  • Nicholas C Carpita
Award Date:07/30/2009
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 2,000,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 2,000,000
  • FY 2009=$2,000,000
Start Date:08/01/2009
End Date:05/31/2014
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040101 RRA RECOVERY ACT
Award Title or Description:EFRI-HyBi: Maximizing Conversion of Biomass Carbon to Liquid Fuel
Federal Award ID Number:0938033
DUNS ID:072051394
Parent DUNS ID:072051394
Program:EFRI Research Projects

Awardee Location

Street:Young Hall
City:West Lafayette
State:IN
ZIP:47907-2114
County:West Lafayette
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Purdue University
Street:Young Hall
City:West Lafayette
State:IN
ZIP:47907-2114
County:West Lafayette
Country:US
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

Abstract PI Name: Rakesh Agrawal Institution: Purdue University Proposal Number: 0938033 EFRI-HyBi: Maximizing Conversion of Biomass Carbon to Liquid Fuel This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5) Intellectual Merit: To date, all biomass conversion processes are limited in the fraction of lignocellulosic-derived carbon that is converted to liquid fuel. Based on total lignocellulosic carbon mass and current conversion processes, the carbon recovery into fuel is limited to less than 40%. In order to minimize the land area needed to grow biomass to meet our nation?s liquid fuel demand for the transportation sector, it is essential that the efficiency of conversion of biomass carbon to liquid fuel be maximized. To this end the synergistic development of a thermal conversion process using catalysts is envisioned, with optimized structures and composition of lignocellulosic biomass, to yield directly high-energy density liquid fuels. If direct conversion cannot be optimized, oxygen removal from the biomass will be improved for a bio-crude that may be further refined. Preliminary data indicate a dependence on cell wall composition and structure for the reaction products of biomass in pyrolytic conditions. The basis for the work is the hypothesis that modification of key molecular bonds in wall architecture will reduce the temperature (energy input) required to produce a bio-oil and also change the distribution of molecular species released during hydropyrolysis at the new temperature. The intellectual merit of this proposal resides in the synergistic development of fundamental knowledge in each of the areas: (i) a chemical process using fast-hydropyrolysis along with in-situ hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) for biomass conversion, (ii) suitable catalyst development to enhance activity and selectivity of the thermal reactions; (iii) gene discovery for engineering of biomass tailored for its end-use in fast-hydropyrolysis/HDO, (iv) scientific and technical knowledge base to build small-scale distributed plants with low energy inputs and low supplemental hydrogen consumption, avoiding transportation of biomass over long distances. Study of all these aspects in parallel will reveal synergies for the production of energy-dense liquid fuel molecules that have not been seen before. The diverse team brings together experts in plant genomics, reaction engineering, catalysis, process systems analysis, chemistry and chemical engineering to create an interdisciplinary knowledge base that transforms the carbon and energy efficiencies of biofuels production. Broader impact: The proposed research and resulting technologies will have impact at multiple levels. They will introduce new and transformative concepts in the conversion of the entire biomass carbon to liquid fuel and will create scientific knowledge linking the physical and chemical structure of biomass to the conversion process using fasthydropyrolysis/ HDO. The use of maize mutants, transgenic lines, and diversity lines and their recombinant inbreds will allow rapid identification of genes controlling desirable quality traits that impact conversion efficiency for future translation to a variety of energy crops. Successful outcomes from the project will lead to the development of small distributed scale plants that will have environmental, commercial and economic impact of global proportions. The research results will be disseminated through conferences, journal articles, and the internet and by their incorporation in various energy-related courses and lectures at Purdue. Research opportunities will be provided to undergraduate and graduate students, and provided through existing outreach programs at Purdue. The PIs will disseminate information to and engage with chemical and energy companies to facilitate future implementation and thereby accelerate economic impact.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Penning BW, Sykes RW, Babcock NC, Dugard CK, Klimek JF, Gamblin D, Davis M, Filley TR, Mosier NS, Weil CF, McCann MC, Carpita NC "Validation of PyMBMS as a high-throughput screen for lignin abundance in lignocellulosic biomass of grasses." Bioenergy Research, v.7, 2014, p.899. doi:10.1007/s12155-014-9410-3 

Wegenhart BL, Liu S, Thom M, Stanley D, Abu-Omar MM "Solvent-Free Methods for Making Acetals Derived from Glycerol and Furfural and Their Use as a Biodiesel Fuel Component" ACS Catalysis, v.2, 2012, p.2524-2530. doi:10.1021/cs300562e 

Mallapragada DS, Singh NR, Curteanu V, Agrawal R "Sun-to-Fuel Assessment of Routes for Fixing CO2 as Liquid Fuel" Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, v.52, 2013, p.5136. doi:10.1021/ie301125c 

Mallapragada DS, Agrawal R "Limiting and achievable efficiencies for solar thermal hydrogen production." International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, v.39, 2014, p.62. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2013.10.075 

Mallapragada DS, Singh NR, Curteanu V, Agrawal "Sun-to-Fuel Assessment of Routes for Fixing CO2 as Liquid Fuel" Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, v.52, 2013, p.5136-5144. doi:10.1021/ie301125c 

Wegenhart BL, Liu S, Thom M, Stanley D, Abu-Omar MM "Solvent-Free Methods for Making Acetals Derived from Glycerol and Furfural and Their Use as a Biodiesel Fuel Component" ACS Catalysis, v.2, 2012, p.2524. doi:10.1021/cs300562e 

Hurt MR, Degenstein JC, Gawecki P, Borton II DJ, Vinueza NR, Yang L, Agrawal R, Delgass WN, Ribeiro FH, Kenttämaa HI "On-Line Mass Spectrometric Methods for the Determination of the Primary Products of Fast Pyrolysis of Carbohydrates and for Their Gas-Phase Manipulation" Analytical Chemistry, v.85, 2013, p.10927. doi:10.1021/ac402380h 

Venkatakrishnan VK, Degenstein JC, Smeltz AD, Delgass WN, Agrawal R, Ribeiro "High-pressure fast-pyrolysis, fast-hydropyrolysis and catalytic hydrodeoxygenation of cellulose: Production of liquid fuel from biomass" Green Chemistry, v.16, 2014, p.792. doi:10.1039/C3GC41558A 

Penning BW, Sykes RW, Babcock NC, Dugard CK, Held MA, Klimek JF, Shreve JT, Fowler M, Ziebell A, Davis MF, Decker SR, Turner GB, Mosier NS, Springer NM, Thimmapuram J, Weil CF, McCann MC, Carpita NC "Genetic determinants for enzymatic digestion of lignocellulosic biomass are independent of those for lignin abundance in a maize recombinant inbred population." Plant Physiology, v.in pres, 2014, p.10.1104/p. doi:10.1104/pp.114.242446 

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