SBIR Phase I: The Production of Silicon Esters with an Advanced Enzymatic Reactor Technology
Small Business Information
1901 South Franklin, Butte, MT, 59701
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will demonstrate the feasibility of an innovative, environmentally benign, enzymatic catalyst process and an advanced reactor design for the production of silicon esters from various feedstocks. All current processes for making silicon esters are either using expensive rare earth metal as catalysts or using halogen elements containing compounds as starting materials and high temperature. Some of them involve using or generating HCl gas and the formation of complex mixtures, which cannot be readily separated. The Phase I objective is to demonstrate feasibility of using immobilized enzyme as a catalyst for silicon ester synthesis coupled with the sonic-enhanced packed bed reactor technology. The investigation will focus on esterification reactions between alkyl silanols and saturated or unsaturated carboxylic acids to produce silicon esters with designed degree of saturation. This enzymatic process will produce both saturated and unsaturated silicon esters that can be used for a broad range of applications, that include repellent coatings, contact lenses, electrical assemblies, perfumes, dyes, brake fluid, chromatography equipment, rubber products, products to reattach detached retinas and more. The unsaturated esters can also be used as monomers for silicon containing polymer production.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.