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Hydrocarbon Fuels, Chemicals and Intermediates from a Novel Biomass Pyrolysis Technology (Phase I)


2015 USDA-NIFA Center Award


Principal Investigators and affiliations:
PI:  Dr. Ajay Kumar (Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Oklahoma State University)
Co-PI:  Dr. Allen Apblett (Chemistry, Oklahoma State University)
Co-PI:  Dr. Francis Epplin (Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University)
Funded: $70,753
Start Date: 09/01/2015

End Date: 08/31/2016


Expected Outcomes

The overall goal of this project is to demonstrate proof-of-concept of a novel natural Gas and Biomass To Liquids (GBTL) technology that will synergistically use biomass (e.g. switchgrass and eastern red cedar) and methane to produce liquid hydrocarbons.


  • Research is underway to target production of especially aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene that are compatible with existing petroleum infrastructure.
  • Outcome will forge foundation of the rest of the project by developing a fundamental understanding of various catalytic reactions that occur when biomass and methane react.
  • Results will also allow: 1) to identify the catalysts and reaction pathways that effectively result in high yield and selectivity of hydrocarbons, and 2) to show whether biomass composition and pretreatments have significant effects.
  • This project will directly contribute to the creation of compatible hydrocarbons from biomass in the production of renewable fuels and chemicals while supplementing the demands for petroleum fuels and chemicals.
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