Applications of nanoparticles in biomass conversion to chemicals and fuels

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Biorefineries are facilities that process biomass into fuels, power and value-added chemicals and with the increasing population and depleting petroleum reserves they are fast becoming more important to society. The technology required to process a wide variety of biomass types can be highly complex due to potentially unknown, varying or difficult to breakdown chemical structures within them. One of the prospective routes to a successful biorefinery, that can treat a wide range of biomass and produce products with good selectivity, is the use of nanoparticles as heterogeneous catalysts. The potential of nanoparticles to catalyse and modify chemical processes, thereby influencing both the nature of the products and their distribution is seen as highly promising. In this publication, we aim to give an overview of the use of a range of nano-catalysts and nano-enzymatic supports for greener biorefinery processing. Finally, future prospects of greener routes to nanoparticle production and their integration into biomass are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-584
Number of pages12
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number2
Early online date28 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014

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