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Raspolli Galletti A.M.,Interuniversity Research Center on Biomass for Energy
Green Chemistry | Year: 2014

Furfural was obtained from corn stover hemicelluloses by a microwave-assisted, green and heterogeneously catalyzed two-step cascade process as follows: first step, hydrothermal fractionation of corn stover hemicelluloses, and second step, hydrolysis/dehydration of soluble hemicellulosic sugars over niobium phosphate to yield furfural at moderate temperatures (<200 °C), with both steps being performed in water. Furfural yields of up to 23 mol% with respect to the starting raw biomass were reached. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014. Source


Galletti A.M.R.,Interuniversity Research Center on Biomass for Energy | Antonetti C.,Interuniversity Research Center on Biomass for Energy | Di Nasso N.N.O.,Interuniversity Research Center on Biomass for Energy | Di Nasso N.N.O.,SantAnna School of Advanced Studies
BioResources | Year: 2012

The hydrothermal conversion of waste biomass to levulinic acid was investigated in the presence of homogeneous acid catalysts. Different cheap raw materials (poplar sawdust, paper mill sludge, tobacco chops, wheat straw, olive tree pruning) were employed as substrates. The yields of levulinic acid were improved by optimization of the main reaction parameters, such as type and amount of acid catalyst, temperature, duration, biomass concentration, and electrolyte addition. The catalytic performances were also improved by the adoption of microwave irradiation as an efficient heating method, allowing significant energy and time savings. The hydrothermal conversions of inulin and wheat straw were carried out in the presence of niobium phosphate, which up to now have never been employed in these reactions. The preliminary results appeared to be in need of further optimization. Source


Raspolli Galletti A.M.,Interuniversity Research Center on Biomass for Energy | Antonetti C.,Interuniversity Research Center on Biomass for Energy | Nassi o Di Nasso N.,Interuniversity Research Center on Biomass for Energy | Nassi o Di Nasso N.,SantAnna School of Advanced Studies | And 2 more authors.
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

The acid hydrothermal conversion of a non-food dedicated feedstock - giant reed (Arundo donax L.) - to levulinic acid (LA) was investigated. LA is a versatile intermediate for the production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals. LA was subsequently hydrogenated to γ-valerolactone (GVL), a sustainable liquid and valuable fuel additive and a precursor for the new platform of "valeric biofuels" The straight production of GVL directly from water slurries of giant reed was studied by adopting bifunctional (acid and hydrogenating) catalytic systems based on Ru/C and niobium oxide or niobium phosphate. Mild reaction conditions (only 0.5. MPa of hydrogen and 70 °C) are possible for the hydrogenation step. GVL yields up to 16.6. wt.% calculated from the starting weight of dry biomass were reached, with an almost complete and selective conversion of the intermediate LA. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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