リグニンを用いた触媒プロセスにより、100%持続可能な航空燃料を実現可能(News Release: Catalytic Process With Lignin Could Enable 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel)

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NREL、MIT、ワシントン州立大学の共同研究により、持続可能なジェット燃料への道筋が示される NREL, MIT, Washington State University Collaboration Provides Pathway to Sustainable Jet Fuel

2022-09-22 アメリカ国立再生可能エネルギー研究所(NREL)

リグニンから酸素を除去し、炭化水素をジェット燃料の原料として使用できるプロセスを開発した。この研究は、Joule誌に発表された。
自然界で再生可能な芳香族の最大の供給源であるリグニンは、完全なバイオベースのジェット燃料を実現するための答えとなる可能性を秘めている。
リグニン経路は、SAF(航空燃料)の混合比が高くても燃料システムの適合性を確保することが可能。

<関連情報>

リグニンの連続的なヒドロデオキシ化反応によるジェットレンジ芳香族炭化水素の合成 Continuous hydrodeoxygenation of lignin to jet-range aromatic hydrocarbons

Michael L.Stone,Matthew S.Webber,William P.MounfieldIII,David C.Bell,Earl Christensen,Ana R.C.Morais,Yanding Li,Eric M.Anderson,Joshua S.Heyne,Gregg T.Beckham,Yuriy Román-Leshkov
Joule  Published: September 22, 2022
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2022.08.005

Highlights

•Stable deoxygenation of real lignin achieved with high aromatic selectivity
•Two-pass flow-through HDO enables improved deoxygenated dimer yields
•Deep lignin deoxygenation yields promising aromatic blendstock for use in SAF
•Tier α characterization suggests performance-enhanced products

Context & scale

Decarbonization strategies for transportation are essential to curb climate change spurred by the use of fossil fuels. Although electrification has shown promise toward reducing the carbon footprint of passenger vehicles, aviation remains dependent on hydrocarbon fuels due to their high energy density relative to even the most advanced battery technologies available today. As such, multiple processes for the generation of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) have recently been developed. However, due to their lack of aromatic molecules, they require blending with conventional fuels to achieve the necessary characteristics for their safe use. By using lignin, an abundant, renewable biopolymer that has traditionally been underutilized due to its chemical recalcitrance, an aromatic SAF blendstock could be generated. This work demonstrates a process by which lignin can be selectively converted to jet-range aromatics at unprecedented carbon yields, providing a path toward a 100% drop-in SAF.

Summary

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is essential to decrease the carbon footprint of the aviation industry. Although many strategies have been developed to provide the linear and branched aliphatic components of SAF, few viable strategies have been demonstrated to supply the aromatic and cycloalkane fraction of the SAF at the necessary scale from bio-based feedstocks. Lignin is the largest natural source of renewable aromatic compounds; however, major challenges in deoxygenation have prevented its use as a feedstock for SAFs. Here, we report a continuous, two-stage catalytic process using molybdenum carbide to deoxygenate lignin from poplar into aromatic hydrocarbons with 87.5% selectivity toward aromatic hydrocarbons at 86% of the theoretical carbon recovery. Tier α fuel property testing indicates that the SAF-range lignin-derived aromatic compounds are likely performance-advantaged across multiple properties relative to conventional jet fuel aromatic compounds. This work demonstrates an effective approach to convert lignin into aromatic SAF blendstocks.

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