A joint research team of CAS Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics and Tianjin University have established a process to convert cellulose to 2,5-hexanedione with high selectivity, obtaining 71.4% of 2,5-hexanedione carbon yield after separation. In a second step, this chemical was converted to a C12 and C18 polycycloalkane fuel having a branched structure by an aldol condensation-hydrogenation-hydrodeoxygenation reaction with a carbon yield of 74.6%. The polycycloalkane obtained in this process showed high density (0.88 g/mL) and a low freezing point (225 K). In practical applications, it could be used as a high-density advanced aviation fuel, or as a fuel additive to increase the volumetric calorific value of aviation kerosene.

CAS news release, March 28, 2019