Plenary speakers

  1. Managing Director

Selectivity Engineering in Sustainable Production of Chemicals, Fuels and Energy from Biomass and Carbon Dioxide

Ganapati  D. YADAV
Vice Chancellor and R.T. Mody Distinguished Professor
J.C.Bose National Fellow  (DST-Govt of India)
Biomass conversion technologies consist of sugar platform (biochemical/fermentation), extraction and chemical conversion (syn gas) and it provides challenging opportunities. Biorefineries must adopt the Green Chemistry principles. The development of lignocellulose treatments will be key to unlocking a major sugar source for biological conversion into industrial products. Defunctionalization may involve oxidation and hydrogenation apart from other important chemical reactions using acids and bases. Catalysis is the most pivotal principle of Green Chemistry which inherently aims at reduction of waste, both of material and energy. The active sites on the catalyst can be tailored to give desired products from reactants while suppressing, either totally or to the maximum extent, any generation of by-products. Chemical and allied industry is characterized by several processes involving complex (series and/or parallel) reaction networks in which the selectivity of the desired product is influenced by a number of parameters. There are examples of reactions where the same type of catalyst is used in a series of reactions where the intermediate is reacted with the reactant already present in the reactor or a different reagent is added subsequently wherein there is no need for separation of the intermediate.  Cascade engineered multistep reactions along with complex multifunctional catalyst yields required process intensification at molecular level. The multifunctional catalysts required for such reactions possess multi-functionality such as acid, base and metal sites. Reactions occur on these multiple sites in a concerted or sequential manner. The role of acids, bases, metals and bacteria and enzymes as catalyst is evident. Thus, replacement of polluting acids and bases by benign solid acids as well as bases is one of the keys to achieve the objectives of green and sustainable chemistry. The oxidation of aliphatic and aromatic compounds normally leads to over-oxidation since these are consecutive and/or complex reactions. Replacement of homogeneous catalysts and exotic oxidizing agents by benign heterogeneous catalysts and oxidants such as air or hydrogen peroxide would be most desirable. Use of oxygen/air/hydrogen peroxide as oxidizing agent leads to better atom economy.  Hydrogenation is a vital operation in chemical process industry and noble metal catalysts are rampantly used. CO2 conversion technologies along with water splitting will be greatly pursued. HMF is considered as a platform molecule which can be valorised using different processes and catalysis. New opportunities for the conversion of glycerol, co-product of biodiesel, into value-added chemicals have emerged in recent years as a result of glycerol’s unique structure, properties, bioavailability, and renewability. Different reaction pathways for selective catalytic conversion of bioglycerol into commodity chemicals include oxidation, hydrogenation (commonly called hydrogenolysis), dehydration, pyrolysis and gasification, steam reforming, thermal reduction into syngas, transesterification, etherification, oligomerization, polymerization, acetalization and carbonylation. The principles of selectivity engineering and cascade engineering in valorization of biomass and biobased products will be the central theme of this lecture.