Faculty Advisor

Timko, Michael T.

Abstract

(Chloromethyl)polystyrene (CMP) and its sulfonated derivates are popular catalysts for biomass conversion to biofuels and other value-added chemicals. These catalysts have been reported to mechanistically hydrolyze cellulose in a similar fashion to cellulase enzymes. This work, however, demonstrates that the solid acid actually leaches chloride anions over time, forming aqueous hydrochloric acid in-situ. Kinetic modeling in conjunction with experimental hydrolysis data suggests the liquid acid catalyzes the hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose and other products, without any distinctive effect from the solid acid polymer beads.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2018

Major

Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering

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