The AHB Conversion team developed a biological and chemical process to convert hardwood feedstock into sustainable transportation fuels, such as diesel, jet fuels, and gasoline, and bio-based chemicals, like acetic acid. Research was conducted in the lab, at the ZeaChem demonstration plant, and at outside facilities.
Develop a biological and chemical process to convert hardwood feedstock into sustainable transportation fuels, such as diesel, jet fuels, and gasoline, and bio-based chemicals, like acetic acid.
- Investigated a biorefining process that uses nearly 100% of the carbon in the feedstock for fuel and produces 40-50% higher yields than other biorefining processes.
- Tested the quality of materials from different poplar varieties and multiple harvest cycles.
- Identified sugar production as the most critical step for commercial success.
- Determined that leaf content hindered the conversion process.
- Tested method to remove leaves from whole tree chips (air knife fractionation; in collaboration with Forest Concepts).
- Improved acid-catalyzed steam explosion pretreatment and fermentation through pre-processing.
- Extracted high value chemicals for superior overall biorefinery economics.
- Developed a new oligomerization catalyst that enables production of jet fuel and other hydrocarbon fuels from cellulosic ethanol.
- Produced a hydrophobic lignin-coated wood pellet from lignin obtained through ZeaChem’s conversion process that would be suitable for use in power plants.
For publications produced by the Conversion Team, click here.
To learn more about the conversion process, visit the Fuel and Chemicals topic page.