Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

OU engineers discover novel role of water in production of renewable fuels

01.04.2019

University of Oklahoma engineers in collaboration with the University of Tulsa have discovered a novel approach for the water-assisted upgrading of the renewable chemical, furfural, doubling or tripling the rate of conversion.

"Energy and water are interconnected in the production of renewable fuels. On the one hand, energy is needed to extract, purify and distribute water. On the other hand, water is useful in producing energy," said Daniel Resasco, professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering, Gallogly College of Engineering.


OU engineers have discovered a novel approach for the water-assisted upgrading of the renewable chemical, furfural, doubling or tripling the rate of conversion.

Credit: University of Oklahoma

"It is known that water plays an important role as an environmentally-friendly solvent, replacing organic solvents. The novelty is that it can accelerate the rate of hydrogenation."

In the chemical production of energy in conventional refining, the presence of water in the reactors is undesirable. Normally, when water is present in a reacting system where a catalytic reaction is taking place, it typically absorbs where the reaction should occur, which inhibits the rate of conversion.

"A group of chemical engineering graduate and undergraduate students participated in the discovery of water as a participant in the catalytic conversion of furfural without inhibiting the reaction and leading to a great rate enhancement in the process," said Bin Wang, assistant professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering, Gallogly College of Engineering.

Furfural is a biomass-derived compound that is considered a valuable platform for production of fuels and chemicals. An important strategy is to hydrogenate the molecule so it can be used in the chemical industry later. The group has shown that when the molecule contains an oxygenated group, hydrogenation occurs from the liquid phase instead of the catalyst surface.

In the absence of water, all steps in the reaction occur on the catalyst surface. In the presence of water as a solvent, the hydrogen can be 'shuttled' through the water molecule in a higher rate for the reaction. This latter path requires a lower energy barrier to take place and is faster. An article describing this unique mechanism has been published in Nature Catalysis.

###

The OU Catalysis Group received a U.S. Department of Energy grant in the amount of $650,000 to further explore the role of water in upgrading renewable fuels in the chemical production of energy.

For more information, contact OU Professor Resasco at resasco@ou.edu or OU Professor Wang at wang_cbme@ou.edu.

Media Contact

Jana Smith
jana.smith@ou.edu
405-325-1322

 @ouresearch

http://www.ou.edu 

Jana Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://bit.ly/2FNWnsZ

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Neuron and synapse-mimetic spintronics devices developed
17.04.2019 | Tohoku University

nachricht New discovery makes fast-charging, better performing lithium-ion batteries possible
16.04.2019 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>