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SBIR Phase I: Reactive Distillation for Vinyl Ether Synthesis

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Kse, Inc.
665 Amherst Road Sunderland, MA 01375-9420
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: SBIR Phase I: Reactive Distillation for Vinyl Ether Synthesis
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0232759
Award Amount: $100,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is to establish the technical and economic feasibility of a novel technology to utilize reactive distillation to produce vinyl ethers, the production of which is otherwise plagued by equilibrium limitations and side reactions. The program will combine the catalysis expertise of KSE, Inc. with the reactive distillation strengths of the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Massachusetts, to develop the new technology. The resulting work product will not only advance the practice of the field of organic synthesis, but also will provide useful case study examples for academic teaching and research. The Phase I program requires completion of three tasks. First, research is needed to improve the catalyst compositions to promote vinyl ether synthesis, to match distillation requirements. Second, laboratory reactor tests, including reactive distillation, must be performed to guide catalyst improvement and to demonstrate success of the technology. Third, design and competitive economic analyses are required to complete the feasibility assessment. The proposed research will solve a major problem in vinyl ether synthesis, reducing byproducts and eliminating solvents. It will also provide valuable teaching and research tools for the practice of reactive distillation. Commercial applications of the reactive distillation technology will allow production of vinyl ethers as an important building block in organic synthesis, eliminating the energy intensive acetylene route based on World War II technology. It allows new synthesis methods to be used, by eliminating critical equilibrium and byproduct constraints.

Principal Investigator:

James Kittrell

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

P O Box 368 Amherst, MA 01004

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No