285376 Acid Functionalized Magnetite Nanoparticles for Carbohydrate Hydrolysis

Sunday, October 28, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Myles A. Ikenberry, Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Acid catalyzed hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials is a well-studied and promising method of producing glucose and other precursors to ethanol and industrially useful chemicals.  However, this method of hydrolyzing biomass is limited by the costliness of downstream acid separation and disposal.  A potential solution to this problem is the use of solid acid catalysts, which can be separated more easily and reused.  Magnetite nanoparticles have an advantage over other solid acid catalysts in that they can be separated by magnetic extraction, rather than requiring centrifugation or filtration.  Additionally, the inherently high surface area and concentration of acid groups at the outer surface of the material gives the functionalized particles the potential to outperform the activity of other solid acid catalysts.  Despite the potential to improve the economics of renewable energy production from biomass, acid functionalized magnetite nanoparticle applications remain limited by difficulties such as achieving economically viable synthesis methods for enhanced control of particle size, agglomeration, and acid stability.  Some recent research in these areas is discussed, in addition to a novel, inexpensive synthesis technique whose functionalized particles have been tested for the hydrolysis of some carbohydrates.

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