© 2016

Reaction Pathways and Mechanisms in Thermocatalytic Biomass Conversion I

Cellulose Structure, Depolymerization and Conversion by Heterogeneous Catalysts

  • Marcel Schlaf
  • Z. Conrad Zhang
  • Discusses the structure of lignocellulosic biomass and the mechanisms and pathways of cellulose depolymerization by solid acid and metal-based catalysts

  • Provides an overview of the use of heterogeneous catalysts for the conversion of cellulose and sugar (derivatives) to value-added products by acid/base, hydrogenolysis and oxidation reactions

  • Focuses on 2nd generation biofuels and specific target chemicals derived from biomass


Part of the Green Chemistry and Sustainable Technology book series (GCST)

Table of contents

About this book


Volume I mainly focuses on the current understanding of the reaction pathways and mechanisms involved in several important catalytic conversions of cellulose and carbohydrates. It starts with nanoscale illustrations of biomass structures and describes various reactions including cellulose depolymerization to sugars, catalytic aldose-ketose isomerization and dehydration, selective oxidation, hydrogenolysis of cellulose and sugars, and the conversion of short carbohydrates. The specificity and function of different catalysts and reaction media in relation to the catalytic performances for these reactions are discussed with significant mechanistic details.    

Marcel Schlaf, PhD, is a Professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of Guelph, Canada.

Z. Conrad Zhang, PhD, is a Professor at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.


Aerobic oxidation Biomass conversion Cellulose depolymerization Heterogeneous metal catalysis Lignocellulosic biomass Nanoporous solid acids and bases Selective catalytic hydrogenolysis Short carbohydrates

Editors and affiliations

  • Marcel Schlaf
    • 1
  • Z. Conrad Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Dalian National Laboratory for Clean EnergyDalian Institute of Chemical Physics Chinese Academy of SciencesDalianChina

About the editors

Prof. Marcel Schlaf graduated as a Diplom-Chemiker from the Bayerische-Julius-Maximilian Universität in Würzburg, Bavaria in 1992. After obtaining a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 1996, he was an NSERC post-doctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa and at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, NY. He joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Guelph in 1999 where he was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2004 and full professor in 2011. In 1995 and 2006 he was a visiting researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM and in 2009 a visiting faculty at Peking University and Dalian University of Technology in China. In 2010 he was appointed Adjunct Research Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Western Ontario and the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR). His research interests lie in the development of new homogeneous catalysts and processes for the selective deoxygenation of sugars, sugar alcohols and triglycerides to petrochemicals or monomers and the upgrading of pyrolysis bio-oil, as obtained from non-food ligno-cellulosic biomass, to usable fuel using heterogeneous catalysts, notably non-toxic sacrificial catalysts derived from Bauxite mining waste (Red Mud). He has published more than 40 papers and holds 3 patents. 

Professor Z. Conrad Zhang received his B.S. in Chemistry from Lanzhou University, China in 1982 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Connecticut in 1988. He carried postdoctoral research at Northwestern University on zeolite catalysts and zeolite supported metal catalysts. He later became a research assistant professor at the Catalysis Center of Northwestern University. He started his industrial research career in 1992 with Johnson Matthey, and shortly after joined Akzo Nobel’s Central Research as a senior chemist. He became a senior scientist at Akzo Nobel and established a multiple-disciplinary research group at the corporate level of Akzo Nobel Chemicals. In 2005, Professor Zhang joined the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) as a Chief Scientist. He led his research group pioneered the research in the conversion of glucose and cellulose to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. In 2008, Professor Zhang joined KiOR Inc. as a member of the start-up management team at the position of the Director of Science and R&D of KiOR Inc. Professor Zhang Joined the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics as a “Thousand Talent Program” full professor since 2013. His research is focused on the conversion of biomass to bio-fuels and bio-chemicals. Dr. Zhang has 90 publications and over 35 patents.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Reaction Pathways and Mechanisms in Thermocatalytic Biomass Conversion I
  • Book Subtitle Cellulose Structure, Depolymerization and Conversion by Heterogeneous Catalysts
  • Editors Marcel Schlaf
    Z. Conrad Zhang
  • Series Title Green Chemistry and Sustainable Technology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Green Chemistry Sustainable Technology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Chemistry and Materials Science Chemistry and Material Science (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-981-287-687-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-981-10-1316-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-981-287-688-1
  • Series ISSN 2196-6982
  • Series E-ISSN 2196-6990
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 260
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Catalysis
    Renewable and Green Energy
    Sustainable Development
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