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 butyl 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.

Crude reaction yield in direct (Fisher) esterification

Kinetics for direct esterification of n-butyl acetate

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.

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.

Crude reaction yield in Transesterification

Kinetics for transesterification of n-butyl methacrylate

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