Separation and recovery of high value pentose derivatives from cellulosic biomass using molecular imprinting

Grants and Contracts Details


Cellulosic biomass is of interest as a feedstock for biorefineries. for the production of ethanol. The longterm economic viability of bioethanol production will require the development of integrated biorefineries to generate a range of chemical products similar to that produced by petroleum refineries. In the current approach to biomass conversion, hemicellulose-based (C5) saccharides are both underutilized building blocks for the production of commodity chemicals and problematic in the conversion of glucose to ethanol. The goal of this project is to develop advanced ceramic materials suitable for the selective separation and recovery of desired C5 (pentose) saccharides from pretreated cellulosic biomass. The application of these stable, scalable, reusable, and portable materials will be demonstrated in processes for simultaneous pre-treatment of lignocellulose and recovery of C5 sugars. An interdisciplinary team of four experienced investigators (with expertise in Chemical Separations, Materials Synthesis, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, and Synthetic Chemistry) will lead the execution of this project based on the following specific objectives: Objective I: Demonstrate the use of molecular imprinted (MI) ceramic materials for the separation of C5 and C6 sugars in the context of cellulose! hemicellulose biorefining and demonstrate materials processing approaches to enhance saccharide recovery; Objective 2: Demonstrate the synthesis and application of nanostructured molecular imprinted (NMI) ceramic materials for the separation of C5 and C6 sugars and develop general design principles for NMI materials for the recovery of C5!C6 sugar streams; Objective 3: Incorporate MI and NMI ceramics directly in lignocellulose pretreatment for simultaneous hydrolysis and recovery of C5 sugars.
Effective start/end date6/3/086/30/12


  • Cooperative State Research Education and Extension: $999,964.00


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