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      Advances in porous and nanoscale catalysts for viable biomass conversion

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          Solid catalysts with unique porosity and nanoscale properties play a promising role for efficient valorization of biomass into sustainable advanced fuels and chemicals.


          Heterogeneous catalysis is a promising technology for the valorization of renewable biomass to sustainable advanced fuels and fine chemicals. Porosity and nanostructure are the most versatile features of heterogeneous solid catalysts, which can greatly determine the accessibility of specific active sites, reaction mechanisms, and the selectivity of desirable products. Hence, the precise tuning of porosity and nanostructure has been a potential strategy towards developing novel solid catalysts with indispensable characteristics for efficient biomass valorization. Herein, we present a timely and comprehensive review of the recent advances in catalytic biomass conversions over microporous zeolites, mesoporous silicas, and nanostructured metals/metal oxides. This review covers the catalytic processing of both edible (lipids and starch) and non-edible (lignocellulose) biomass as well as their derived compounds, along with a systematic evaluation of catalyst reusability/kinetic/mechanistic aspects in the relevant processes. The key parameters essential for tailoring particle size, morphology, porosity, acid–base, and redox properties of solid catalysts are emphasized, while discussing the ensuing catalytic effects towards the selective conversion of biomass into desirable chemicals. Special attention has been drawn to understand the role of water in liquid phase biomass conversions as well as the hydrothermal stability and the deactivation of nanoporous catalysts. We believe this comprehensive review will provide new insights towards developing state-of-the-art solid catalysts with well-defined porosity and nanoscale properties for viable biomass conversion.

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          Nanoparticles as recyclable catalysts: the frontier between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis.

          Interest in catalysis by metal nanoparticles (NPs) is increasing dramatically, as reflected by the large number of publications in the last five years. This field, "semi-heterogeneous catalysis", is at the frontier between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, and progress has been made in the efficiency and selectivity of reactions and recovery and recyclability of the catalytic materials. Usually NP catalysts are prepared from a metal salt, a reducing agent, and a stabilizer and are supported on an oxide, charcoal, or a zeolite. Besides the polymers and oxides that used to be employed as standard, innovative stabilizers, media, and supports have appeared, such as dendrimers, specific ligands, ionic liquids, surfactants, membranes, carbon nanotubes, and a variety of oxides. Ligand-free procedures have provided remarkable results with extremely low metal loading. The Review presents the recent developments and the use of NP catalysis in organic synthesis, for example, in hydrogenation and C--C coupling reactions, and the heterogeneous oxidation of CO on gold NPs.
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            Liquid-Phase Catalytic Processing of Biomass-Derived Oxygenated Hydrocarbons to Fuels and Chemicals

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              Silica-based mesoporous organic-inorganic hybrid materials.

              Mesoporous organic-inorganic hybrid materials, a new class of materials characterized by large specific surface areas and pore sizes between 2 and 15 nm, have been obtained through the coupling of inorganic and organic components by template synthesis. The incorporation of functionalities can be achieved in three ways: by subsequent attachment of organic components onto a pure silica matrix (grafting), by simultaneous reaction of condensable inorganic silica species and silylated organic compounds (co-condensation, one-pot synthesis), and by the use of bissilylated organic precursors that lead to periodic mesoporous organosilicas (PMOs). This Review gives an overview of the preparation, properties, and potential applications of these materials in the areas of catalysis, sorption, chromatography, and the construction of systems for controlled release of active compounds, as well as molecular switches, with the main focus being on PMOs.

                Author and article information

                Chemical Society Reviews
                Chem. Soc. Rev.
                Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
                April 15 2019
                : 48
                : 8
                : 2366-2421
                [1 ]Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis
                [2 ]Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
                [3 ]Heverlee
                [4 ]Belgium
                [5 ]University of Bucharest
                [6 ]Department of Organic Chemistry
                [7 ]Biochemistry and Catalysis
                [8 ]Bucharest 030016
                [9 ]Romania
                © 2019
                Self URI (article page): http://xlink.rsc.org/?DOI=C8CS00452H


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