Showa Shell Sekiyu KK announced Dec 7, 2017, that it has succeeded in using inedible biomass materials to generate hexene that can be used as gasoline base material in cooperation with Tohoku University.

Hexene can be converted into hydrocarbon equivalent to jet fuel, leading to production of jet fuel base material, the company said.

The materials are (1) inedible biomass-derived cellulose and (2) sorbitol produced by saccharification/hydrogenation of the cellulose. With Ir-ReOx/SiO2 catalyst developed by Tohoku University and Pt-Ir-ReOx/SiO2 catalyst co-developed by Showa Shell Sekiyu and the university, the C-O bonding in the materials is decomposed by selectively using hydrogen. As a result, hexanol is produced.

After the dehydration reaction of the generated hexanol, which is triggered by H-ZSM-5 catalyst, hexene can be obtained.