Dr. Caroline Burgess Clifford
Senior Research Associate, The Energy Institute
The Pennsylvania State University
Cellulosic plant biomass is expected to be a feedstock in the production of transportation fuels and chemicals. One of the major by-products of cellulosic ethanol production is lignin, and most expect that lignin conversion to transportation fuels or value-added products will improve process economics. Processes have been examined for lignin conversion, including hydrolysis/deoxygenation and supercritical water gasification, but favorable economics for these processes have yet to be proven. The goal of the research in our lab is to develop an economic process for lignin conversion by examining known processes as well as developing proof of concept ideas. The presentation will be an overview of the process chemistries we are examining, as we are in the early stages of our research.