New, Safe, Efficient Fast Process for Converting Biomass to Bio Fuels


Biofuel derived from biomass is one of the leading renewable energy candidates to replace fossil fuel.  The carbon footprint for biofuels is zero, because the carbon that is present in the biofuel was originally taken from the atmosphere by plants.  Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels will lower the carbon content of the atmosphere, and will reduce dependence on non-renewable energy supplies.  HMF (5- hydroxymethlfurfural) is a critical intermediate product for converting biomass to liquid alkanes, which are hydrocarbons such as methane, propane, butane and octane. 

However, the current production of HMF is hampered by inefficient and costly processes, often involving the use of toxic materials that are themselves environmental hazards.

A new chemical process has been developed that has several advantages over current technology.  The process uses non-toxic materials instead of toxic metal based catalyst or sulphuric acid, thus reducing equipment costs.  The new process is simpler, involving fewer steps, and it is a continuous process, not a batch process.  The new process does not use micro-organisms, but uses instead a more efficient enzyme-mimic catalyst, and the conversion to HMF is a faster process than existing methods.  Further, the new process can use a variety of feedstocks and is not dependent on the use of food plants like corn, and can work efficiently on agricultural waste products.

The new process is currently patent-pending and is available for license.


Patent Information:
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Provisional United States 62/151,873 4/23/2015    
For Information, Contact:
Mark Swaney
Technology Licensing Officer
University of Arkansas
Xianghong Qian
Ranil Wickramasinghe
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