Univalor, Montréal, QC, CA
We propose a catalytic conversion process for the production of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) from low-cost abundant sugars (glucose or fructose). FDCA is used as a precursor for PEF (polyethylene furanoate), a 100% bio-sourced plastic that could potentially replace PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in a near future. Our process is based on heterogeneous catalysis in gas phase. A liquid solution containing carbohydrates (glucose or fructose) is fed through a nozzle that forms a spray directly inside a fluidized bed of catalyst particles. When heated, the small droplets vaporize rapidly and then react with the solid catalyst to produce FDCA. The process has been optimized such that vaporization and reaction rates are superior to the sugar thermal decomposition rate in order to avoid caramelization problems. This approach favours high yields by taking advantage of the high reaction kinetics associated with a thermochemical approach without some of its undermining characteristics because the reactions are performed at a lower temperature. By reacting in gas phase rather than liquid phase, we expect reaction rates about 50 times faster. This also allows using smaller reactor volumes for a given production level, thus significantly lowering capital requirements.
Primary Application Area: Materials, Chemical
Technology Development Status: Prototype
Technology Readiness Level: TRL 4
Organization Type: Academic/Gov Lab
Showcase Booth #: 524
GOVT/EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES