Production of Organic Acid Esters Using Reactive Distillation

 

Introduction

 

Organic acid esters are widely used in industry as solvents, as intermediate chemicals, and in consumer products.  Ester production and utilization constitutes a multibillion dollar market.  Prior approaches to producing organic acid esters involve the traditional batch approach, which is labor intensive, can create waste (mineral acid catalyst) and requires an excess quantity of alcohol, resulting in large amounts of equipment and energy cost.  Batch reactive distillation has also been used for making esters but remains costly.  Reactive distillation has emerged as a new technology for economical production of or organic acid esters, and has seen limited success with esters of acetic acid.  Further development to expand the utility of reactive distillation is needed.

 

Description of Technology

 

This invention represents a new method for making organic acid esters.  The method uses reactive distillation, a technique in which a compound is formed by chemical reaction and purified to its final state within a single piece of equipment.  The technology allows organic acid esters to be produced at lower cost, with less waste production, and in a less complicated manner than prior technologies.  Organic acid esters have use as solvents, as intermediate chemicals, and in consumer products.  This technology can convert biomass-based organic acids, produced by fermentation, to their alkyl esters.

 

Key Benefits

  • Continuous process,
  • Inexpensive
  • Minimized waste production 

 

Applications

  • Economical production of
  • Organic ester solvents
  • Intermediate chemicals
  • End user products

 

Patent Status

 

US Patent No US 7,652,167 B2

 

Inventors

 

Navinchandra Asthana, Carl Lira, Dennis Miller, Aspi Kolah

 

Tech ID

 

TEC2004-0026

 

Patent Information:

Category(s):

For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University
herlache@msu.edu
Keywords: