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Wood Research and Technology


Cellulose – Hemicelluloses – Lignin – Wood Extractives

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Volume 65, Issue 4


Bio based fuels and fuel additives from lignocellulose feedstock via the production of levulinic acid and furfural

11th EWLP, Hamburg, Germany, August 16–19, 2010

Geertje Dautzenberg / Mirko Gerhardt / Birgit Kamm
Published Online: 2011-06-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf.2011.081


The demand for biomass-derived fuels and fuel additives, particularly in the transportation sector, has stimulated intense research efforts in the chemistry of levulinic acid and levulinic acid secondary products over the past decade. Additionally, recent technological progress in lignocellulosic feedstock (LCF) chemistry has also increased attention in this regard. As a result, several oxygenating fuel additives with potential applications in both gasoline and diesel fuels have been identified. Some of the chemicals, such as ethyl valerate, appear to be viable alternatives to the currently used branched, short-chain ethers that are derived from side products of petrol refining. Cost-effective applications of lignocellulosic biomass are a crucial aspect of its feasibility. In consideration of the LCF biorefinery concept, the feasibility must also include the chemical pulping of LCF and the comprehensive utilisation of its main constituents cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin. The present study focuses on cellulose and hemicelluloses as viable sources for the production of biofuels and biofuel additives. Multifunctional catalysis, including hydrogenation and acid catalysis are the primary instruments used for the conversion of the monomeric carbohydrate building blocks, i.e., mainly C5 sugars, such as xylose and arabinose, and C6 sugars in the form of glucose and their respective secondary products, furfural and levulinic acid. Lignin utilisation is not addressed in this paper.

Keywords: biofuel; furfural; LCF biorefinery; levulinic acid; levulinic acid esters; lignocellulosic feedstock (LCF); 2-methyl tetrahydrofuran; pentenoic acid esters; valeric acid esters; valerolactone; γ-valerolactone

About the article

Corresponding author. Research Institute Bioactive Polymer Systems e.V., Kantstraße 55, D-14513 Teltow, and Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Germany

Received: 2010-10-31

Accepted: 2011-03-25

Published Online: 2011-06-10

Published Online: 2011-05-20

Published in Print: 2011-06-01

Citation Information: Holzforschung, Volume 65, Issue 4, Pages 439–451, ISSN (Online) 1437-434X, ISSN (Print) 0018-3830, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf.2011.081.

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