Metal Oxide Catalyst for Methacrylic Acid Preparation via One-Step Oxidation of Isobutane
70261 Methacrylic acid (MAA) and its ester derivatives are important building blocks for many large volume polymers and resins. By 1999, the U.S. annual production of the single methyl ester derivative, methyl methacrylate, reached 1.7 billion pounds. The current commercial route for making MAA and its ester derivatives is the acetone cyanohydrin route, a multiple-step preparation that utilizes expensive starting materials, consumes lots of energy, and produces toxic and corrosive waste streams. This project will develop a cost saving, energy saving, and environmental friendly catalytic process to make MAA in one step. The process will use air as an oxidant from isobutane, a component of natural gas liquids. Phase I will prepare various catalysts of the WaMobVcXdYeOn composition (X and Y are modifiers for isobutane activation and methacrylic acid selectivity), study the preparation-structure-performance relationship, and optimize for the most active catalysts for the conversion of isobutene to methacrylic acid. Ultimately, a 50% isobutene conversion with a 50% MAA selectivity is sought by the end of Phase II. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The production of MAA or its methyl ester directly from isobutene should provide economic benefits by replacing acetone with isobutane at a third of the feedstock cost. Energy savings would be achieved by replacing multi-step processes with a single step process and environmental benefits would be achieved by replacing corrosive/toxic pollutant generating steps with a single environmentally friendly step.
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Evernu Technology, Llc
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