Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Fabio H Ribeiro

Second Advisor

Rakesh Agrawal

Committee Member 1

W. Nicholas Delgass

Committee Member 2

Mahdi Abu-Omar


Second-generation biofuels utilizing lignocellulosic biomass are considered to be a promising alternative to fossil-based fuels. Lignocellulosic biomass is structurally diverse and therefore requires detailed understanding of the thermal depolymerization and catalytic hydrodeoxygenation reactions to optimize the overall process. This dissertation describes the experimental work using model compounds to elucidate the role of bimetallic catalyst and control the reaction operating parameters such as temperature and hydrogen pressure to maximize energy recovery in the liquid product from biomass resource.