SBIR Phase I: Novel Membrane for Lactate Esterification

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0611172
Agency Tracking Number: 0611172
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: CT
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-605
Small Business Information
2721D Merrilee Drive, Fairfax, VA, 22031
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 R Radhakrishnan
 (703) 560-1371
Business Contact
 T Sudarshan
Phone: (703) 560-1371
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is aimed at developing a novel pervaporation membrane for the separation of water during esterification reaction to improve yields of lactate esters. Ethyl lactate is used in large volume and is produced from fermentation of renewable carbohydrate sources such as corn. The higher cost of manufacture of lactate esters is due to the low yield of the esterification process. The cost of the manufacture can be lowered by increasing the efficiency of the esterification process. To improve the efficiency of the process, a novel membrane is proposed to achieve high separation and yield. The use of an efficient membrane for separation in lactate ester production holds several benefits from the industrial, commercial and environmental standpoint. Lactate esters such as ethyl lactate are safe alternatives to conventional organic industrial solvents that are known to damage the ozone layer and pollute groundwater.

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

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