Fermentation free bioethanol synthesis



Patent Number: US 8502001
Title: Production of alcohol from carbonaceous feedstock
Inventor(s): Daniel, Berian John; Gracey, Benjamin Patrick
Patent Assignee(s): BP P.L.C., UK
The invention relates to the process for conversion of ethanoic acid into ethanol characterized by the following steps, (a) introducing ethanoic acid and H2 into a primary hydrogenation unit in the presence of a precious metal-based catalyst to produce ethanol and Et ethanoate, (b) introducing Et ethanoate, from step (a), together with H2, into a secondary hydrogenation unit in the presence of a copper-based catalyst to produce ethanol, and (c) recovering ethanol from step (b).  Thus, in the primary reactor H2 and ethanoic acid with a molar ratio of 10/1 was passed over the palladium-silver-rhenium-iron catalyst at 230° and 2.0 MPa with a GHSV of 4343 h-1 to give a product showing conversion of ethanoic acid to Et groups recoverable as ethanol was 41.9 %, of which 19.7 % was as Et ethanoate, 21.6 % ethanol, 0.4 % ethanal and 0.2 % di-Et ether and the total conversion of ethanoic acid to products was 44.7 %, the selectivity of ethanoic acid to Et groups recoverable as ethanol was 93.8 %; in the secondary reactor H2 and Et ethanoate with a molar ratio of 10/1 was passed over the copper-based catalyst at 200° and 5.0 MPa with a GHSV of 4491 h-1, the conversion of Et ethanoate to Etgroups recoverable as ethanol was 69.5 %, the selectivity of Et ethanoate to Et groups recoverable as ethanol was 99.9%. 

View the full-text here.



As bioethanol continues to be an important component of gasoline, a high–carbon efficiency, nonfermentative route becomes increasingly important. One idea under exploration is gasifying cellulosic feedstocks to biosynthesis gas (syngas) and then converting the gas to mixed alcohols. The second step, however, is problematic because the initial formation of methanol is equilibrium-limited, and very high pressures are required to obtain even modest yields of C2+ alcohols.

Inventors B. J. Daniel and B. P. Gracey disclose a technique for making ethanol from syngas with high carbon efficiency. Methanol is first made from syngas by using conventional process technology. (Whether the syngas is biobased, natural gas–based, or coal-based is irrelevant.) The methanol is then carbonylated to acetic acid, again with conventional technology.

The patent’s invention is the hydrogenation of acetic acid (HOAc) to a mixture of ethanol (EtOH) and ethyl acetate (EtOAc). The EtOAc is separated and hydrogenated in another reactor to give additional EtOH.

In the patent’s one example, hydrogen and HOAc in a 10:1 mol ratio are passed over a Pd–Ag–Rh–Fe catalyst in the primary reactor at 230 ºC, 2.0 MPa pressure, and a gaseous hourly space velocity (GHSV) of 4343 h–1. The HOAc conversion is 41.9%, of which 19.7% is EtOAc, 21.6% EtOH, 0.4% MeCHO, and 0.2% Me2O. The overall selectivity to ethyl groups that can be recovered as EtOH is 93.8%.

In the secondary reactor, hydrogen and the EtOAc from the primary reactor in a 10:1 mol ratio are passed over a copper-based catalyst at 200 ºC, 5.0 MPa, and a GHSV of 4491h-1. The conversion of EtOAc is 69.5%, and the selectivity to ethyl groups that can be recovered as EtOH is 99.9%. Overall, the selectivity to EtOH is a high 95.7% (BP PLC [London]. US Patent 8,502,001, Aug 6, 2013; Jeffrey S. Plotkin)


Medicine Can be Sweet

New Drug Approvals

Medicine Can be Sweet

Glycosylated analogues of pramlintide were synthesized by a combination of solid-phase peptide synthesis and enzymatic glycosylation

Read more


Medicine Can be Sweet

View original post

Watermelon Juice Prevents Aching Muscles

New Drug Approvals



The amino acid L-citrulline found in the fruit could help athletes avoid muscle soreness after a hard workout

Before taking a long bike ride on a hot summer day, have some watermelon: The juicy fruit may ward off muscle pains. Researchers report that people who drank watermelon juice before exercising felt less sore the next day than those who drank a pink placebo beverage (J. Agric. Food Chem. 2013, DOI: 10.1021/jf400964r). They also found that cells absorb the presumed active ingredient, L-citrulline, more readily from unpasteurized watermelon juice than from plain water spiked with the compound, suggesting the natural source is the optimal delivery medium.


Photo of watermelon juice smoothie in tall glass
The Next Sports Drink?
Watermelon drinks, like this smoothie, could help cut down on muscle soreness after intense exercise.

View original post

Eco-Catalysis Leads the Way to Green Synthetic Chemistry

EcoCatalysis Leads the Way to Green Synthetic Chemistry

by H Jianwei – ‎2012

Sep 25, 2012 – Research Article. Open Access. Volume 1 • Issue 4 • 1000e114. Organic Chem Curr Res. ISSN:2161-0401 OCCR an open access journal.

A look into cell division


ImageIt’s that time in the general biology semester where we transfer our attention to cell division.  Having already discussed a number of basic principles like the laws of thermodynamics and a touch of chemistry, and cellular functions such as the flow of energy and the flow of information, it’s now time to look at how cells reproduce themselves.

In this chapter we should be recalling all the parts of the cell and accounting for how they get sorted into the developing ‘daughter cells’, and also recall the role of information, in the form of DNA, and how this is apportioned into the daughter. Of course we will spend most of our time focusing on the distribution of DNA, but we should always keep in mind what we know of other structures and organelles.

I previously wrote an essay describing cell division in humans that marries this information with the subject…

View original post 229 more words