Nanoparticle Electrocatalysts for the Oxidation of Biomass

Monday, October 12, 2015: 14:40
Remington A (Hyatt Regency)
C. Arroyo-Torres, J. A. Staser (Chemical Engineering), and O. Movil-Cabrera (Ohio University)
Biomass fuels come from things that once lived: wood products, dried vegetation, crop residues, aquatic plants and even garbage. Lately, there is a constant supply of waste – from construction and demolition activities- in which this waste is generally burned during the chemical recovery process to generate heat. Unfortunately, catalytic processes are difficult to implement for the degradation of biomass because selective oxidation is difficult and these processes produce an unacceptable amount of solid residue like char. Electrochemical processes, on the other hand, have several advantages over catalytic processes, including the use of mildly basic solvents as electrolytes, and control over the rate of reaction and the products. Thus, the electrochemical oxidation of biomass would be an ideal process to utilize this renewable raw material. We have begun to investigate the mechanism of biomass oxidation via electrochemical processes, in which several proceeding chemical or electrochemical reactions are possible.  We will present GC/MS data that identify biomass oxidation products. This process could provide an economic way of reducing the organic waste from bio-refinery industries.