Catalytic conversion of furfural and glucose over activated carbon-supported metal catalysts

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Ulappa auditorium of Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius (Talonpojankatu 2B, Kokkola). Remote connection: https://oulu.zoom.us/j/63103743481

Topic of the dissertation

Catalytic conversion of furfural and glucose over activated carbon-supported metal catalysts

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science Riikka Kupila

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Technology, Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry

Subject of study

Chemistry

Opponent

Professor Henrik Grénman, Åbo Akademi University

Custos

Professor Ulla Lassi, University of Oulu

Add event to calendar

Catalytic conversion of furfural and glucose over activated carbon-supported metal catalysts

Forest-based sectors such as sawmills and pulp and paper play an important role in Finnish industry. Lignocellulosic side stream fractions from these activities, such as wood sawdust and lignin, are primarily used for energy. However, these fractions could be used more efficiently in biorefinery concepts like the production of value-added bio-based materials and chemicals instead of energy production.

In biorefinery concepts, catalysis is an important tool for creating more sustainable processes. Efforts to develop novel catalytic systems for biomass valorization to obtain platform chemicals from biomass feedstock are worth pursuing. In catalytic applications, novel bio-based activated carbon catalysts could be used to replace the non-renewable catalytic materials currently used.

In this thesis, the application of lignocellulose-based side stream materials as a raw material for activated carbon catalysts and their use in catalytic applications are studied. Catalysts prepared for catalytic conversion reactions to produce value-added chemicals for biorefinery applications are investigated: specifically, the conversion of the biomass-based molecules furfural and glucose into 2-methylfuran, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, lactic acid and its ester, ethyl lactate.

This research provides new insights into the preparation of lignocellulose based activated carbon catalysts and their suitability for catalytic conversion reactions to produce important value-added chemicals for industrial applications. The present study found that lignocellulosic side stream materials can be used in preparing high-quality activated carbon catalysts or supported catalysts. Prepared carbon-based catalysts showed promising results in the conversion reactions studied, indicating that tailored catalyst supports for specific applications are needed.
Last updated: 11.11.2021