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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

COMPARISON OF HOMOGENEOUS CATALYSTS FOR THE CONVERSION OF BIOMASS TO FORMIC ACID**

Abstract

Cellulose is a biopolymer that is present in all plant biomass, serving as the major component of cell walls. Due to the abundance of this polymer, chemists have sought various ways to transform cellulose and glucose, its monomer, into renewable feedstock chemicals. One target molecule is formic acid (HCO2H), the smallest carboxylic acid, which can be used in a wide range of applications, including further conversion into components of syngas (H2 and CO). Previous conversions of cellulose or glucose into formic acid have required high pressures (~30 atm) and temperatures (160 °C). For this research, we studied three different catalysts: sodium metavanadate (NaVO3), iron (III) chloride (FeCl3), and tris-(2,2’-bipyridyl)iron(II) chloride ([Fe(bpy)3]Cl2) for the conversion of cellulose and glucose to formic acid under reduced temperatures and pressures.

Acknowledgements

YHC Department of Chemistry

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