N.R. Myllenbeck, C. Quiroz-Arita
Sandia National Laboratories,
Keywords: industrial decarbonization, low-carbon, diesel, fuel
Summary:Adoption of renewable fuels reduces net emissions of carbon and greenhouse gases, and affords opportunities for increased domestic energy security. Here, we present alkyl dialkoxyalkanoates (or DAOAs) as a family of synthetic diesel candidates that feature both ester and ether chemical functionalities. Precursors to DAOAs are fusel alcohols, which are widely available from common metabolic transformations. Synthesis of DAOAs proceeds in high yield using a simple, mild chemical transformation performed under air. The isolated DAOAs were shown to exceed widely accepted combustion criteria for sustainable diesel candidates. In particular, butyl 2,2-dibutoxypropanoate (DAOA-2) has indicated cetane number 64, yield soot index 256 YSI/kg, lower heating value 27.8 MJ/L and cloud point < - 60°C and compares favorably to renewable diesel, biodiesel and petroleum diesel. Finally, elimination reactions of DAOAs were used to expose acrylate functionality, which could be relevant to production of bioplastics. Lifecycle assessment (LCA) was used to evaluate biomass waste feedstocks for DAOA production, realizing scenarios with more than 70% reductions in life cycle carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.