New solutions for products and process evaluation - the horizontal approach
Process intensification via integration of reaction and separation in novel concepts is highly relevant for all research and valorization lines within the biobased program of InSciTe as it allows an increase in product yield and productivity. Furthermore a lot of products are dependent on the availability of the same chemical building blocks from renewable resources. The goal of the “Horizontal” project is to map and evaluate different suggested solutions in order to understand which products and processes have a higher potential for creating economic value and are therefore suitable for scale up and piloting. In two closely related work packages the team investigates a number of chemical building blocks in combination with novel reaction-separation techniques (e.g. solvents, spinning disc reactors). Techno-economic evaluations for selected process / product combinations lead to recommendations for the most promising scenarios towards economically viable applications.
Project status 2017-2018
The Horizontal project team focused on five main activities: 1) screening and testing of catalysts for hydrogenation reactions; 2) polymerization reactions and screening of new polymers characteristics; 3) collecting input parameters for the design of a hydrogenation unit and downstream separation trains for the pilot plant; 4) delivery of the design for pilot hydrogenation and design of experiments 5) screening of new solvents for reactive extraction. The primary target for scaling up will be cyclopentanone from renewable raw materials (e.g. xylose). All activities are geared towards preparation of biobased platform molecules and novel biobased monomers.
The design of the hydrogenation unit for pilot scale has been delivered. The design of experimental campaign has also been delivered.
Different new potentially biobased polymers have been produced in a high-throughput reactor and have been characterized also in terms of degradation. New solvents for novel separation approaches have been investigated, with a few interesting results especially in liquid supported membrane preparation and testing.
Fausto Gallucci, PhD
Eindhoven University of Technology
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