Friday, November 12, 2010: 9:33 AM
150 D/E Room (Salt Palace Convention Center)
With increasing concerns regarding the availability and environmental impact of fossil fuels, much attention has been drawn to utilizing lignocellulosic biomass as a resource for fuel and chemical production. Heterogeneous catalysis has the potential to play a key role in these processes because the catalysts (e.g. solid acids) usually tolerate some variation in the feedstocks and can be produced relatively cheap. However, most biomass conversion processes will likely occur in aqueous phase, and little is known regarding the stability of heterogeneous catalysts in this medium. In this study, the structural changes of Pt/γ-Al2O3 in conditions typical of biomass reforming environments were investigated. Phase transitions were observed and the influence of the reaction conditions (e.g. pressure, temperature) was elucidated. Understanding these transformations is important because they may influence the reaction mechanism and recyclability/regeneration.