'Biogasoline' now made from plant wastes
Chemists have developed a new process that could help make gasoline-like fuels from cellulosic materials like farm and forestry waste
Lead author Mark Mascal, professor of chemistry at University of California, Davis, said that though there are lots of processes to make linear hydrocarbons, until now nobody has been able to make branched hydrocarbons with volatility in the gasoline range.
Mascal said that the feedstock for the new process is levulinic acid, which can be produced by chemical processing of materials like straw, corn stalks or even municipal green waste. It's a cheap and practical starting point that can be produced from raw biomass with high yield.
Because the process does not rely on fermentation, the cellulose does not have to be converted to sugars first.
The paper has been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
(Posted on 04-02-2014)