Production of Methacrylic Acid and Other Oxygenated Chemicals Solely from Renewable Non-food Biomass Derived Feedstocks
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
Evernu Technology LLC
306 Camars Drive, Warminster, PA, 18974-3874
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThe over dependence of the United States on fossil fuels from foreign countries as the predominant source of energy and chemical feedstocks has placed the United State in an alarming position, impacted our national energy security and threaten the ecologic balance and the environment we live in. While the need for sustainable energy can also be met by utilizing other type of renewable resources, such as solar, wind and geothermal, biomass is the only renewable resource that produces carbon-based fuels and chemicals. The recent advancements of bioengineering technology for the production of biofuels prompt the development of enabling technologies for the production of higher-value chemicals from non-food biomass derived feedstocks. One of such needed technology is outlined by EverNu in this proposal for the catalytic production of methacrylic Acid (MAA) and other oxygenated chemicals starting from renewable non-food biomass derived feedstocks. MAA and its derivative methyl methacrylate (MMA) are large volume monomer building blocks for many valuable polymers and resins. In 2005, the MMA market alone was already about 1.8 billion pounds in the US and 6.2 billion pounds worldwide, with the anticipated annual growth of 3-4%. All of the conventional technologies for manufacturing MAA and MMA, i.e., Acetone Cyanohydrin (ACH) process, isobutylene process, propyne process and ethylene/syngas process, consume fossil fuel-based feedstocks. The most predominant conventional process is the ACH process, which not only requires large volumes of fossil fuel-based feedstocks, but also consumes large amount of energy and produces large quantity of toxic wastes. Thus, there are strong needs and significant benefits to develop a novel process to enable the production of MAA and other oxygenated chemicals solely from renewable non-food biomass derived feedstocks. In additional to the potential of replacing billion pounds per year of fossil fuel-based feedstocks with ones solely derived from non-food biomasses, the proposed innovation by EverNu also offers two other potentially very significant public benefits by completely eliminating the serious environmental problems and greatly reducing the intensive energy consumption, both of which are inherent of the ACH process.
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