Acetic Acid Manufacture by the Selective Photocatalytic Oxidation of Ethylene

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Amount:
$750,000.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
DE-FG02-08ER85117
Solitcitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Branch:
N/A
Award Year:
2009
Phase:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Small Business Information
Kse, Inc.
665 Amherst Road, Sunderland, MA, 01375
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
025207911
Principal Investigator
 James Kittrell
 Dr.
 (413) 549-5506
 kseinc@aol.com
Business Contact
 James Kittrell
Title: Dr.
Phone: (413) 549-5506
Email: kseinc@aol.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Acetic acid is a large volume, global commodity chemical used as a basic building block in manufacturing polymers, anhydrides, and esters. Current acetic acid manufacturing technologies are based on carbon monoxide, which is produced by inherently inefficient techniques, wasting scarce hydrocarbon resources, consuming excessive energy, and generating substantial greenhouse gases. Alternative acetic acid production technologies based on direct oxidation of ethane or ethylene exist, but these technologies suffer from poor oxidation selectivity, poor energy efficiency, and wasted hydrocarbon resources. This project will utilize a photocatalytic technology for the selective oxidation of ethane to acetic acid. In this approach, photocatalytic oxidation uses UV light to produce acetic acid at ambient temperatures and pressure, with exceptionally high selectivity to acetic acid. Phase I developed novel photocatalyst compositions, which produced acetic acid from ethane in very high yield, reduced energy consumption by one-half, reduced waste of hydrocarbon resources, and reduced generation of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Phase II will entail optimizing the performance of the novel photocatalysts for acetic acid selectivity, and maximizing overall energy efficiency and manufacturing cost savings. To facilitate early commercialization, the technology will be demonstrated in a prototype unit. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Selective photocatalytic oxidation should find immediate application in the commercial production of acetic acid, improving U.S. competitiveness in global markets. The novel technology should achieve energy savings of over 10 trillion BTU per year, potential annual manufacturing cost savings approaching $500 million, and a payout time of less than 2 years when replacing current technology in an existing acetic acid plant

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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