AbstractSustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is essential to decrease the carbon footprint of the aviation industry. While many strategies have been developed to provide the branched, aliphatic components of SAF, few viable strategies have been demonstrated to supply the aromatic and cycloalkane fraction of SAF at the necessary scale from bio-based feedstocks. Lignin is the largest natural source of renewable aromatic compounds, yet major challenges in deoxygenation have prevented its use as a feedstock for SAF. Here we report a continuous, two-stage catalytic process using molybdenum carbide to deoxygenate lignin from poplar into aromatic hydrocarbons with 87.5% selectivity towards aromatic hydrocarbons at 86% of the theoretical carbon recovery. This work demonstrates an effective approach to convert lignin into aromatic SAF blendstocks.
Published: February 22, 2023