Synthesis benchmarking proves the superior performance of bio n-butanol
To validate the utility of bio n-butanol as a high-performance building block for coatings materials, researchers at Green Biologics conducted a series of synthesis trials to benchmark bio n-butanol against petrochemical-derived n-butanol. They compared the performance of petrochemical and bio-based n-butanol in direct Fischer esterification and transesterification reactions.
For the Fischer esterification, we studied the production of n-butyl acetate and n-butyl acrylate, which represent greater than 60% of the global market for derivatives (Source: IHS). Over multiple runs, the bio n-butanol was able to show a 3.4% yield improvement in butyl acrylate synthesis and a 4.3% yield improvement in butyl acetate synthesis. In addition, the reaction kinetic rate constant for n-butyl acetate synthesis was 5% higher when using bio n-butanol. Transesterifications of methyl methacrylate to n-butyl methacrylate showed a significantly higher yield (+ 10.7%) and rate constant value (+ 8%) for bio n-butanol over the petrochemical equivalent. Higher yields translate into more product, less waste, and improved downstream purification. Better kinetics can offer catalyst and energy savings or the ability to lower fixed costs by boosting assets.
As a building block, bio n-butanol products have demonstrated several performance advantages. For example, our tests show significantly higher crude yields and faster kinetics in two common industrial synthesis processes: esterification and transesterification.
The faster reaction rates speed both synthesis and downstream process steps. Specialty chemical manufacturers can use less catalyst or reduce energy usage, thereby reducing variable costs. Plus bio n-butanol testing showed higher conversion of the desired end product over petroleum-based butanol, further increasing customer profitability.
In addition to having a higher conversion of the desired end product, the lower level of impurities at the end of the reaction often equates to easier downstream purification, increasing overall product yields, removing process steps, and reducing waste. Yield, impurity, and kinetic data in direct esterification and transesterification are superior, making our bio n-butanol a logical choice for synthesis of butyl derivatives.
Many companies are capacity-constrained and need to maximize the amount of product processed through their existing assets and equipment. In fact, the percentage of equipment up-time is often a key performance metric. Using Green Biologics’ bio n-butanol speeds reaction times, so companies can produce more in the same amount of time, resulting in less capital (equipment) expense per unit. Faster cycle times enable higher throughput from existing equipment.
Maximizing first-pass or batch yield is another key operation objective. Most chemical reactions do not result in 100% conversion of the desired product with 100% accuracy. Our customers get more of the desired end product prior to purification with the same volume of input. This means products produced with bio n-butanol enable optimization of the process and lower purification costs.