Issue Date: June 27, 2016
Firms claim biobased routes to ethyl acetate and glycols
Producers of consumer and industrial products will have new options for biobased intermediates—if scale-up efforts for ethyl acetate and glycols prove economical in today’s cheap fossil-fuel environment.
Greenyug, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based technology developer, says it will build an industrial-scale ethyl acetate facility that will use corn ethanol as a feedstock. Separately, Vancouver, British Columbia-based S2G BioChem says it is successfully producing glycols made from nonfood sugars at a contract manufacturing site.
The Greenyug facility will be located adjacent to an Archer Daniels Midland corn processing facility in Columbus, Neb. ADM will supply ethanol for Greenyug’s process, which uses a dehydrogenation catalyst that works in the liquid phase to make ethyl acetate.
The renewable ethyl acetate can compete on price with synthetic ethyl acetate made by Celanese and Eastman Chemical, according to the company. A solvent, it is used in adhesives, paints, nail polish removers, and coffee and tea decaffeination.
Meanwhile, S2G has begun commercial-scale production of biobased glycols at the Memphis site of Pennakem, a specialty chemical firm that makes furans from agricultural waste. The S2G process hydrotreats waste-derived sugars to make a mixture of ethylene and propylene glycols.
Output from the facility has been sold to an industrial resin plant and is being evaluated by other industrial customers, according to S2G. The company claims to be competitive with petrochemical glycols, even at today’s low oil and gas prices.
- Chemical & Engineering News
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