Molecule’s carbon chain length affects oxygen’s departure in key reaction for building bio-fuels
(Phys.org) —In a maze of blindingly complex reactions that snap oxygen atoms off cellulose or other bio-sources to create energy-dense fuel, the starting molecule’s size has a curious effect. If the oxygen-rich molecule is too short to comfortably stretch to a catalyst’s active site, oxygen atoms are split from its hydrocarbon chain instead of staying together as happens when the molecule can reach across, according to scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Baylor University.
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