SCCER BIOSWEET Interview with Maneka Roger

Roger Maneka is a Ph.D student at the Paul Scherrer Institute, in the Catalysis for Energy Group led by Prof. Dr. Kröcher, and Dr. Ferri. Her research is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and well within the scope of the SCCER BIOSWEET. She explains the motivation for her research: “We believe it is crucial to develop technologies today to enable tomorrow’s energy transition. This energy transition concerns land transportation among others. The primary…

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“This is incredibly ambitious”

Every three years, the World Energy Council explores possible developments of the global energy system under different scenarios. Tom Kober, head of the Energy Economics Group at PSI and one of the lead authors of the study, explains what the individual projections mean and how global warming could be mitigated. Since 2010, the World Energy Council has been developing these World Energy Scenarios and publishing them every three years…

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Preventing Lignin Condensation to Facilitate Aromatic Monomer Production

Lignin is the most abundant aromatic polymer in nature and as such is an attractive source of aromatic molecules. Efficient lignin utilization will also likely play a key role in the economic success and sustainability of biomass valorization schemes. However, traditional strategies for lignin isolation and depolymerization suffer from repolymerization issues, which result in low yield of low molecular weight fragments…

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Catalyst Support and Solvent Effects during Lignin Depolymerization and Hydrodeoxygenation

We studied and compared the hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) and depolymerization of aldehyde-stabilized lignin and 4-propylguaiacol (PG), a model lignin monomer. We demonstrated by liquid phase adsorption that PG HDO catalyzed by Ru/C can be achieved in isooctane but not in 1,4-dioxane due to competitive solvent binding to the active sites. Unfortunately, alkanes cannot be used as solvents for real lignin due to limited solubility…

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Siloxane compounds in biogas: Method development and speciation analysis with GC-ICP-MS

A novel method for the determination of linear and cyclic siloxane compounds (L2, L3, D3, D4, D5, and D6) in biogas was developed by combining gas chromatography (GC) with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Using a continuous liquid quench sampling system, biogas samples were collected from a Swiss biogas production plant processing manure and mixed organic wastes. Although significant…

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Designing Heterogeneous Catalysts for Renewable Catalysis Applications Using Metal Oxide Deposition

Heterogeneous catalysis has long been a workhorse for the chemical industry and will likely play a key role in the emerging area of renewable chemistry. However, renewable molecule streams pose unique challenges for heterogeneous catalysis due to their high oxygen content, frequent low volatility and the near constant presence of water. These constraints can often lead to the need for catalyst operation in harsh liquid phase conditions, which…

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