Catalysis is the essential technology for chemical transformation, including production of fuels from the fossil resources petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Typical catalysts for these conversions are robust porous solids incorporating metals, metal oxides, and/or metal sulfides. As efforts are stepping up to replace fossil fuels with biomass, new catalysts for the conversion of the components of biomass will be needed. Although the catalysts for biomass conversion might be substantially different from those used in the conversion of fossil feedstocks, the latter catalysts are a starting point in today's research. Major challenges lie ahead in the discovery of efficient biomass conversion catalysts, as well as in the discovery of catalysts for conversion of CO2 and possibly water into liquid fuels.
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