Reactive Distillation for Vinyl Ether Synthesis

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-04ER83989
Agency Tracking Number: 75396B04-I
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: 34 a
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0072
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 368, Amherst, MA, 01004
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Kittrell
 (413) 549-5506
Business Contact
 James Kittrell
Title: Dr.
Phone: (413) 549-5506
Research Institution
75396B Reactive distilation is a new technology for the chemical and petroleum industries, which can lower energy consumption, improve the yields of reactions, enhance production of desired products, and reduce manufacturing costs. This project will develop a novel reactive distillation technology, along with improved catalysts, for an important chemical intermediate, vinyl ether. In Phase I, new catalysts were developed specifically for reactive distillation, laboratory performance data were generated to demonstrate process feasibility, and process simulations and economic studies showed the competitive advantage of the new reactive distillation technology. The results showed that for the manufacture of polyvinyl alcohols, a multi-billion dollar market, energy consumption was cut in half compared to traditional technology. Phase II will complete the development of the new catalysts; evaluate the performance of these catalysts in bench scale laboratory systems; conduct reactive distillation simulations, design, and cost analyses; and will prove commercial operability in an integrated, large scale pilot plant. Production of polyvinyl alcohol that meets commercial specifications will be demonstrated. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new reactive distillation technology should result in immediate benefits in the manufacture of an important set of chemical intermediate, vinyl ethers. The total manufacturing cost of this new technology is forecasted to be is as low as the raw materials cost alone for conventional manufacturing technology. Reactive distillation thus would be shown to be a viable technology for the production of other chemical products.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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