Rule-based generation of thermochemical routes to biomass conversion

Srinivas Rangarajan, Aditya Bhan, Prodromos Daoutidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals involves a multitude of oxygen-containing compounds and thermochemical reaction routes. A detailed elucidation of the process chemistry is, thus, a key step in understanding the reaction mechanisms and designing chemical processes in a biorefinery. In this paper, a computational tool, called Rule Input Network Generator (RING), is presented as a platform for modeling diverse homogeneous and heterogeneous chemistries in biomass conversion and automatically generating the underlying complex reaction networks. RING accepts a set of reaction rules and initial reactants as inputs and exhaustively generates the reactions of the system. The reaction center of an elementary step is represented by a SMARTS-like string and identified as a submolecular pattern in a reactant molecular graph using a pattern-matching algorithm. The reaction events are subsequently modeled as a graph transformation system. The generality of this framework was substantiated by the successful application of RING in reproducing the reaction mechanisms of different biomass conversion systems, such as acid-catalyzed dehydration of fructose, base-catalyzed esterification of triglycerides, and gas phase pyrolysis of fatty esters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10459-10470
Number of pages12
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 3 2010


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