UROP Project

Qualitative and quantitative analysis of humin formation in biomass conversion processes



Daniel Holder

Program Director UROP


+49 241 80-90695


Key Info

Basic Information

Project Offer-Number:
UROP International
Chemical Engineering
Organisation unit:
Process Systems Engineering (AVT.SVT)
Language Skills:
Computer Skills:
Basic MS Office skills

Excellence Cluster: Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass

Conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into value-added chemicals and biofuels is a first step towards a more sustainable chemical economy. However, the formation of yield-reducing, insoluble degradation products referred to as humins is a major issue in such processes. Even though humin formation is nothing new in the field of biomass conversion, there is still a lack of knowledge regarding formation mechanism, morphology, and especially reliable and reproducible quantification methods for humins. To obtain in-situ kinetic reaction data, analytics such as in-line Raman and infrared (IR) spectroscopy can be applied for direct, time-resolved and sampling-free observation of humin formation. Supported by off-line nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), these methods can help to improve process knowledge, and better characterization of humins. In this work, a reproducible humin formation should be achieved and analyzed.


- Short review and documentation of most recent literature on humin formation in biomass conversion - Experiments aiming at reproducible humin formation - Analysis via mass balance closure, Raman, IR, and NMR spectroscopy as well as SEM - Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of formed humins regarding amount and morphology depending on reaction time, temperature, catalyst loading, etc. - Preparation of a short project report


Some basic lab experience, motivation & interest for research in the field of biomass conversion