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Title: Ediesel: Diesel Additive production from ethanol and bio-diesel coproducts

Abstract

This project has focused on supporting and expanding the U.S. ethanol industry by developing new conversion routes and products from ethanol and the byproducts made in ethanol fermentation. The work is relevant to the DOE program goals of developing high-margin chemical products in the biorefinery to economically support large-scale biofuel production. The higher alcohols from condensation of ethanol, alkylated amine compounds made by electrocatalytic alkyation, and fusel alcohols produced by modified fermentation microorganisms are all existing or potentially large-scale commodity or specialty chemicals with well-defined uses in industry. The formation of higher alcohols from ethanol in the condensed phase developed several catalysts, first in stirred batch autoclave reactors and then in a continuous flow reactor system, to achieve significant yields of n-butanol and higher alcohols. The best selectivity to higher alcohols exceeded 80% of theoretical at ethanol conversions of 30-40%. From the laboratory experiments and analysis of the phase equilibria of the species involved, a process concept was generated and simulated in AspenPlus to determine the specifications of the various equipment involved in the process. Results show that for the conversion and selectivity described above, the required n-butanol selling price of ~$1.60/kg is in the range of current n-butanol sellingmore » price in the marketplace. Several additional permutations of the process, along with evaluation of higher conversion and selectivities to desired alcohol products, showed that the production of n-butanol from ethanol should be competitive in the marketplace as the science and engineering behind the process improves with continued development. A second aspect of the project focused on producing fusel alcohols in increased quantities during ethanol fermentation. Fusel alcohols, which are composed primarily of isoamyl alcohol and minor quantities of C3-C6 alcohols, have potential as higher value feed stocks for specialty chemical production. Several strains of yeast were evaluated for fusel alcohol production, and the most efficient process for separating and purifying fusel alcohols was developed from both experiments and simulation. Finally, model fusel alcohol mixtures were subjected to condensation reactions with ethanol to prepare higher alcohols that again have potential for specialty chemical or solvent applications. In this preliminary work, measurable quantities of several species were observed, including some species that were previously unknown or uncharacterized in the literature. The third aspect of the project involved the electrocatalytic alkylation of amines with alcohols to form alkyl amines. Ethanol has been demonstrated to serve as an effective ethyl group transfer agent to the nitrogen centers of amines, a reaction with only water as a byproduct. Mild reaction conditions (60 °C, aqueous solution) are enabled by the novel use of simple, undivided electrochemical cell reactors that include long-lived, low cost catalytic electrodes. Direct polyalkylation of ammonia and isolation of the resulting triethylamine product was readily achieved in high yield. Though classical high temperature and pressure industrial scale alkylations reactions will likely continue to be used for production of simple product such as triethylamine, this approach has opened the door to the low cost, low waste use of ethanol and related primary and secondary alcohols to alkylate more delicate amines that were heretofore difficult to synthesize.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Corn Growers Assoc., Chesterfield, MO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
OSTI Identifier:
1494140
Report Number(s):
DOE-NCGA-14216
DOE Contract Number:  
FG36-04GO14216
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Miller, Dennis J. Ediesel: Diesel Additive production from ethanol and bio-diesel coproducts. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1494140.
Miller, Dennis J. Ediesel: Diesel Additive production from ethanol and bio-diesel coproducts. United States. doi:10.2172/1494140.
Miller, Dennis J. Sat . "Ediesel: Diesel Additive production from ethanol and bio-diesel coproducts". United States. doi:10.2172/1494140. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1494140.
@article{osti_1494140,
title = {Ediesel: Diesel Additive production from ethanol and bio-diesel coproducts},
author = {Miller, Dennis J.},
abstractNote = {This project has focused on supporting and expanding the U.S. ethanol industry by developing new conversion routes and products from ethanol and the byproducts made in ethanol fermentation. The work is relevant to the DOE program goals of developing high-margin chemical products in the biorefinery to economically support large-scale biofuel production. The higher alcohols from condensation of ethanol, alkylated amine compounds made by electrocatalytic alkyation, and fusel alcohols produced by modified fermentation microorganisms are all existing or potentially large-scale commodity or specialty chemicals with well-defined uses in industry. The formation of higher alcohols from ethanol in the condensed phase developed several catalysts, first in stirred batch autoclave reactors and then in a continuous flow reactor system, to achieve significant yields of n-butanol and higher alcohols. The best selectivity to higher alcohols exceeded 80% of theoretical at ethanol conversions of 30-40%. From the laboratory experiments and analysis of the phase equilibria of the species involved, a process concept was generated and simulated in AspenPlus to determine the specifications of the various equipment involved in the process. Results show that for the conversion and selectivity described above, the required n-butanol selling price of ~$1.60/kg is in the range of current n-butanol selling price in the marketplace. Several additional permutations of the process, along with evaluation of higher conversion and selectivities to desired alcohol products, showed that the production of n-butanol from ethanol should be competitive in the marketplace as the science and engineering behind the process improves with continued development. A second aspect of the project focused on producing fusel alcohols in increased quantities during ethanol fermentation. Fusel alcohols, which are composed primarily of isoamyl alcohol and minor quantities of C3-C6 alcohols, have potential as higher value feed stocks for specialty chemical production. Several strains of yeast were evaluated for fusel alcohol production, and the most efficient process for separating and purifying fusel alcohols was developed from both experiments and simulation. Finally, model fusel alcohol mixtures were subjected to condensation reactions with ethanol to prepare higher alcohols that again have potential for specialty chemical or solvent applications. In this preliminary work, measurable quantities of several species were observed, including some species that were previously unknown or uncharacterized in the literature. The third aspect of the project involved the electrocatalytic alkylation of amines with alcohols to form alkyl amines. Ethanol has been demonstrated to serve as an effective ethyl group transfer agent to the nitrogen centers of amines, a reaction with only water as a byproduct. Mild reaction conditions (60 °C, aqueous solution) are enabled by the novel use of simple, undivided electrochemical cell reactors that include long-lived, low cost catalytic electrodes. Direct polyalkylation of ammonia and isolation of the resulting triethylamine product was readily achieved in high yield. Though classical high temperature and pressure industrial scale alkylations reactions will likely continue to be used for production of simple product such as triethylamine, this approach has opened the door to the low cost, low waste use of ethanol and related primary and secondary alcohols to alkylate more delicate amines that were heretofore difficult to synthesize.},
doi = {10.2172/1494140},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}