Electrocatalytic Oxidation of Lignin to High-Value Aromatics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2014-00002
Agency Tracking Number: 2014-00002
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.1
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
315 HULS DR, Englewood, OH, 45315-0000
DUNS: 793274747
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Brian Skinn
 Principal Scientist
 (937) 836-7749
 brianskinn@faradaytechnology.com
Business Contact
 E. Jennings Taylor
Title: Vice President
Phone: (937) 836-7749
Email: jenningstaylor@faradaytechnology.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
Significant quantities of biomass are produced annually which represent a huge possible feedstock for biofuels and other valuable chemicals and materials. Numerous industrial processes are available for utilization of the cellulosic fraction of this biomass. However, as much as 40-50% of the biomass is composed of lignin, a cross-linked, aromatic polymer, for which at present there are few economically viable processing routes. In the proposed work, Faraday seeks to identify and develop potential applications of FARADAYIC & reg; pulse-waveform electrochemical processing techniques to the oxidative conversion of lignin to high-value products. Faraday will test the effectiveness and efficiency of (1) commercially available Ru-Ir-oxide anodes, as well as (2) Pd/C and (3) Nb/C anodes fabricated by its collaborator, North Carolina State University, for oxidative FARADAYIC & reg; processing of (a) one or more small-molecule lignin model compounds and (b) commercially available lignin powder. In particular, Faraday will attempt to identify pulse-processing waveforms that permit operation at ambient pressure and at, or near, ambient temperature. Finally, Faraday will complete a preliminary analysis of the economic viability of the proposed technology, and compare the economics to conventional methods of lignin conversion.Faraday anticipates that the proposed work will demonstrate the potential for an economically-viable, sustainable, industrial-scale lignin conversion process predicated upon the strengths and flexibility of FARADAYIC & reg; pulse-processing, in particular the increased control afforded over electrochemical dynamics and mass transport. Adaptation of this process to lignin streams derived from agricultural or forestry sources (switchgrass, corn stover, lumber mill scrap, etc.) would provide an attractive market outlet for producers of such biomass materials.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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