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Samuel Kassaye Degife

Leading speaker for catalysis conferences 2017 - Samuel Kassaye Degife

Title: Catalytic Valorization of Carbohydrates Using Sulfate Ion Promoted Zirconia Catalyst

Samuel Kassaye Degife

Indian Institute of Technology, India.


Samuel has completed his masters of technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India in chemical engineering in 2011. He is currently a PhD scholar at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India at chemical enginnering department under the supervison of Kamal K. Pant and Dr. Sapna Jain from Alabama State University, USA.


Fossil based transportation fuel and chemical production is facing detrimental challenges due to resource depletion and environmental pollution. The motivation to overcome these and other associated challenges is leading to the implementation of integrated biorefinary where liquid fuel and value added chemicals are produced from renewable resources such as lignocellulosic biomass. Lignocellulosic biomass is an abundant organic material that can be used for sustainable production of bioenergy and biofuel such as biogas (CH4 and CO2), platform chemicals (glucose, 5-hydroxylmethyl furfural, levulinic acid, furfural and so on). Among the value added chemicals 5-HMF is considered as one of the most important biomass derived chemicals due to its applicability for the production of biofuel and other intermediate chemicals. In this research work, the transformation of cellulose, fructose and glucose to value added chemicals in the presence of sulfated zirconia catalyst is reported in 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([BMIM] Cl) ionic liquid and water as co-solvent. The effects of reaction conditions (temperature and time) on the yield valuable chemicals was studied in detail. Sulphated zirconia catalyst was effective in depolymerizing MCC yielding a maximum of total reducing sugar (TRS) of 57% (38% glucose and 14% fructose), 9.5% LA and 5.1 of 5-HMF at a temperature of 180 oC and 3 h of depolymerization time. In addition, SZ was tested for dehydration of glucose and fructose and a yield of 26% and 62% of 5-HMF were obtained, respectively.

Audience Take away:

  • Lignocellulosic biomass transformation to value added chemicals using heterogeneous catalysis
  • This presentation provides the application of ionic liquids in synergy with catalysis for biomass transformation 
  • The presentation will highlights the wide product distribution obtained from biomass transformation