Author

Caterina Tran

Advisor

Rai, Neeraj

Committee Member

Toghiani, Hossein

Committee Member

Kundu, Santanu

Date of Degree

1-1-2015

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Abstract

Cellulose, a major constituent of biomass, is a promising source of sustainable energy. A key step in the conversion of cellulose to a platform chemical is glucose isomerization to fructose. Sn-Beta zeolite catalyzes this reaction with high yield. The effect of methanol as a reaction medium on glucose transformations catalyzed by Sn-Beta has not been quantified. Here, density functional calculations are employed to elaborate on the effect of methanol medium, specifically to determine how reaction pathways and energy barriers are affected by methoxylation of Sn or Si groups at the active sites in Sn-Beta. Calculations suggest that the presence of the neighboring silanol group is necessary for glucose isomerization. If the silanol group is altered by methoxylation glucose epimerization is promoted and will likely occur. These results provide additional understanding of the active site of Sn-Beta for glucose transformations and are insightful for novel catalyst design and development.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/19778

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