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China team directly synthesizes gasoline- and diesel-range alkanes from acetone from biomass

Researchers in China have directly synthesized gasoline- and diesel-range C6-C15 branched alkanes in high carbon yield (~80%) via the self-condensation of acetone and the subsequent hydrodeoxygenation over a dual-bed catalyst system. A paper on their work appears in the RSC journal Green Chemistry.

Acetone is a by-product in the production of bio-butanol via the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation of lignocellulose. In a typical ABE fermentation, butanol, acetone and ethanol are produced at a weight ratio of 6:3:1.4 Acetone can also be produced by ketonization of acetic acid—a low-cost lignocellulosic platform compound which is obtained as a by-product in furfural production or from the fermentation of lignocellulose.

The new work thus offers a potential route for the synthesis of drop-in hydrocarbon fuels using acetone derived from the ABE fermentation of lignocellulose.

Strategy for the direct production of gasoline and diesel range branched alkanes over a dual-bed catalyst system. Sheng et al. Click to enlarge.

In the first bed, the acetone was converted to C6-C15 ketones and alcohols using a Pd-modified MgAl-hydrotalcite (MgAl-HT) catalyst. In the second bed, the C6-C15 ketones and alcohols generated in the first bed were further hydrodeoxygenated to C6-C15 branched alkanes—which can be used as renewable gasoline and diesel.

During a 24-hour continuous test, the carbon yield of C6-C15 branched alkanes only slightly decreased from 84.2% to 74.9%. After in-situ regeneration with a hydrogen flow at 573 K for 2 hours, the activity of the dual-bed catalyst system restored to its initial level.


  • Xueru Sheng, Ning Li, Guangyi Li, Wentao Wang, Ai-Qin Wang, Yu Cong, Xiaodong Wang and Tao Zhang (2016) “Direct synthesis of gasoline and diesel range branched alkanes with acetone from lignocellulose” Green Chem., 2016, Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1039/C6GC01127F



Im currently driving a 2005 neon on drop-in 87 octan gasoline so put this gasoline on sale near where i live at half price than regular drop-in petroleum gasoline, i need to pay less for the same stuff than im currently using. These new low cost producers can eradicate these crooked petrol sellers that im fed up to pay high price since i drive in 1977. These petrol sellers constantly increase the price of oil since 1973 and somebody have to crush them to the bone, period. Also lower the taxs on this less polluting gasoline. Im currently paying more than 1 dollar for a liter and i wish to pay 30 cents a liter in the near futur.


Gor, whole sale prices are really low, it's retailers marking up the prices... When gasoline cost the stations <$1 they were still at $2+ at the pump, sure about $.30 is taxes, but at the volumes it sells at you'd think the stations would drop it.

Gas is very inelastic, so probably they knew this and kept the price high.



Are you mentally sane ? What good hasn't increased in price since 1973 ? Why gasoline should be an exception ? America has the cheapest gas of any industrialized country, so where is the rip off ? Plus the tax on gas hasn't been increased in ages and now the fund to finance the maintainable of roads is insufficient to keep infrastructures in decent shape. When you compare the energy content of gas with its price it is dirt cheap, so stop your complaint. Or maybe you should change your old piece of junk car so crapy that only the American car industry knows how I make for a Toyota Prius last release, you will cut your gas bill in two instantly and maybe it would put a smile on your grumpy face ?


Gor lives in Canada where price fixing on gasoline at the retail market is not uncommon. From one gas station to the next the price per liter varies no more than a penny in most cities.

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China has approved many plants to convert Coal to Methane using the synthesis gas and they intend to use this Methane for both power generation and running vehicles.

Also some of the Methane is converted to Methanol and mixed with gasoline as M15 & M85.

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