Advances with ZSM-5 catalysts could transform pyrolysis biofuels

February 7, 2012 |

In Germany and the US, researchers have independently discovered that using a zeolite known as ZSM-5 impregnated with metal nanoparticles can reduce the catalysts needed to transform bio-oil into useful hydrocarbons to just one. Johannes Lercher at the Technical University of Munich in Germany used nickel nanoparticles, while George Huber from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst used gallium nanoparticles. Huber says his catalysts can increase hydrocarbon yields by 40% while Lercher is exploring ways to further increase the efficiency of his catalyst by making it more active without losing the selectivity to produce alkanes in the diesel range.

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