Direct hydrodeoxygenation of raw woody biomass into liquid alkanes

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  • External authors:
  • Qineng Xia
  • Zongjia Chen
  • Yi Shao
  • Xueqing Gong
  • Haifeng Wang
  • Xiaohui Liu
  • Stewart F. Parker
  • Xue Han
  • Yanqin Wang


Being the only sustainable source of organic carbon, biomass is playing an ever-increasingly important role in our energy landscape. The conversion of renewable lignocellulosic biomass into liquid fuels is particularly attractive but extremely challenging due to the inertness and complexity of lignocellulose. Here we describe the direct hydrodeoxygenation of raw woods into liquid alkanes with mass yields up to 28.1 wt% over a multifunctional Pt/NbOPO4 catalyst in cyclohexane. The superior performance of this catalyst allows simultaneous conversion of cellulose, hemicellulose and, more significantly, lignin fractions in the wood sawdust into hexane, pentane and alkylcyclohexanes, respectively. Investigation on the molecular mechanism reveals that a synergistic effect between Pt, NbOx species and acidic sites promotes this highly efficient hydrodeoxygenation of bulk lignocellulose. No chemical pretreatment of the raw woody biomass or separation is required for this one-pot process, which opens a general and energy-efficient route for converting raw lignocellulose into valuable alkanes.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number11162
JournalNature Communications|Nat Commun
StatePublished - 30 Mar 2016