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Saikat Dutta

Leading speaker for catalysis conference 2017 - Saikat Dutta

Title: Hydrodeoxygenation of furylmethane oxygenates to jet and diesel ranged fuels: Probing the reaction network with supported palladium catalyst and hafnium triflate promoter

Saikat Dutta

University of Delaware, United States


Saikat Dutta is postdoc researcher at the catalysis center for energy innovation (CCEI), University of Delaware.  He holds a PhD in chemistry and research experiences in the area of materials chemistry, biofuels for renewable energy, catalysis for fuels and porous materials for electrochemical energy storage.
My current projects are biomass-derived fuels and electrochemical fast charging materials. I research on improving chemical routes to derive liquid fuels from cellulose by developing better catalysts for biomass reactions and more efficient porous and nanomaterials for fast charge storage. 
I am passionate about photography of nature and social media connectivity of scientific research in my leisure time.


Catalytic hydrodeoxygenation of furylmethane oxygenates to high carbon branched chain jet and diesel fuel ranged alkanes at mild conditions is a promising alternative strategy for biorenewable liquid fuel. Here, we report that a strong Lewis acidic promoter can overcome the energy barrier for furylmethanes hydrodeoxygenation at lower temperature.  Furan rings of furylmethanes are first hydrogenated to fully saturated cyclic ethers by a hydrogenation catalyst, which then undergo facile ring-opening and deoxygenation by the promoter. A cyclic intermediate between etheric ‘O’ and the Lewis acidic metal center, assisted by the triflate ligand of the promoter, is formed in the ring-opening step. Probing the reaction pathway with symmetric single furan ring surrogate molecules suggest that the promoter is necessary for the ring-opening. Deoxygenation of ring-opened oxygenates takes place faster for single ring furan surrogates than the multi-furan rings furylmethanes. Maximum 97% jet fuel ranged alkanes with 93% selectivity in C15H32 and C14H30 is achieved from C15-furylmethane at optimal conditions. The yield and selectivity of alkanes with desired carbon numbers can be tuned by two-stage heating, and using furylmethanes with tailored carbon-chain, furan numbers and the carbon center that minimizes C-C cracking. Discussion on the above work will include, chemical strategies to derive long-carbon furanics from biomass, HDO of long-carbon furanics and probing the reaction network by GC-MS analysis of intermediates.

Audience Take away:

1)    Strategies of deriving jet and diesel ranged alkane fuels from long-carbon furanics will provide audience scientific insights that can be transformed into new strategies of deriving fuels from biomass. Audience can also take the proposed mechanistic pathways as path of understanding of HDO process to derive fuels from frunaics.
2)    Audience will understand the abilities of nobel metal and Lewis acidic metal combination can offer an unique strategy of HDO process to derive fuels.
3)    How the long-carbon furanics can be derived from biomass component will be shown which will benefit the audience for furthering biomass research.