Transformation of ethanol into butanol

Transformation of ethanol into butanol

Title of the patent Process improved for the transformation of aliphatic alcohols primates in higher aliphatic alcohols
Thematic area Chemistry and biotechnology
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum - Università Di Bologna
Inventors Fabrizio Cavani, Valerio Zanotti, Rita Mazzoni, Carlo Lucarelli, Cristiana Cesari, Tommaso Tabanelli, Francesco Puzzo
Protection Italy (opportunity for seeking international patent protection)
Licensing status Available for licensing agreement
Keywords Ethanol, butanol, Guerbet, catalyst
Filed on Apr 05, 2018

Over the past decade, applications of ethanol as a platform chemical have aroused new interest because of both environmental concerns connected with petrochemical processes and new economic opportunities seen in bio-based feedstocks. 

Indeed, bio-ethanol has been demonstrated to be a promising and “green” reactant for both biofuels and biochemicals, particularly if it is derived from non-food crops and lignocellulosic materials (second-generation biomass).The catalytic conversion of (bio)ethanol into butanol is an attractive route to upgrade the modest fuel characteristics of this widely available bioderived substrate into a molecule that has properties much closer to conventional gasoline.

Method for obtaining higher aliphatic alcohols starting from aliphatic primary alcohols by means of a condensation reaction.

Starting from the known art, through the use of an additive, the patent offers a catalytic system able, through the controlled condensation of primary alkaline alcohols, to improve yields, selectivity and reaction times, responding to the technical problem related to by-products and to the energy cost of the process with an improved procedure.

Bio-ethanol has been demonstrated to be a promising and “green” reactant for both biofuels and biochemicals, particularly if it is derived from non-food crops and lignocellulosic materials (second-generation biomass).The catalytic conversion of (bio)ethanol into butanol is an attractive route to upgrade the modest fuel characteristics of this widely available bioderived substrate into a molecule that has properties much closer to conventional gasoline.

Advantages:

- Reaction time is lower, up to 4-10 times, if compared with the literature (similar conditions)

- considerable improvement on process costs and management

- the catalyst and the additive can be recycled without sensitive reduction of the catalytic activity.