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Platform Chemicals from an Oilseed Biorefinery

Description: The US chemical industry is $460 billion in size where a $150 billion segment of which is non-oxygenated chemicals that is sourced today via petroleum but is addressable by a renewable feedstock if one considers a more chemically reduced feedstock such as vegetable oils. Vegetable oil, due to its chemical functionality, provides a largely untapped opportunity as a renewable chemical source to replace petroleum-derived chemicals and produce platform chemicals unavailable today. This project examined the fertile intersection between the rich building blocks provided by vegetable oils and the enhanced chemical modification capability provided by metathesis chemistry. The technology advanced in this study is the process of ethylene cross-metathesis (referred to as ethenolysis) with vegetable oil and vegetable oil derivatives to manufacture the platform-chemical 9-decenoic acid (or 9DA) and olefin co-products. The project team meet its goals of demonstrating improved catalyst efficiencies of several multiples, deepening the mechanistic understanding of metathesis, synthesis and screening of dozens of new catalysts, designing and modeling commercial processes, and estimating production costs. One demonstrable result of the study was a step change improvement in catalyst turnover number in the ethenolysis of methyl oleate as reported here. We met our key measurable of producing 100 lbs of 9DA at the pilot-scale, which demonstrated ability to scale-up ethenolysis. DOE Project funding had significant positive impact on development of metathetically modified vegetable oils more broadly as the Cargill/Materia partnership, that was able to initiate primarily due to DOE funding, has succeeded in commercializing products, validating metathesis as a platform technology, and expanding a diverse products portfolio in high value and in large volume markets. Opportunities have expanded and business development has gained considerable momentum and enabled further expansion of the Materia/Cargill relationship. This project exceeded expectations and is having immediate impact on DOE success by replacing petroleum products ...
Date: November 6, 2006
Creator: Tupy, Mike & Yann, Schrodi
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department