263112 Analysis of the Life Cycle of 2-Methyltetrahydrofuran Produced From Agricultural Waste

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 2:35 PM
334 (Convention Center )
Mariano J. Savelski1, C. Stewart Slater1, Dave Aycock2, Steve Prescott2 and Jeff Shifflete2, (1)Chemical Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, (2)PENNAKEM, Memphis, TN

The life cycle emissions to manufacture 2-methyltetrahydrofuran from agricultural by-products have been evaluated.  This solvent has the potential as a substitute for other ether and chlorinated solvents commonly used in pharmaceutical and fine chemical syntheses.  The starting material, 2-furfuraldehyde, is produced from corn cob waste by acid hydrolysis.  The process to convert 2-furfuraldehyde to 2-methyltetrahydrofuran occurs in two hydrogenation steps.  Cradle to gate life cycle emissions for 2-methyltetrahydrofuran are not available in commercially used environmental databases, so a new inventory was created based on manufacturing information.  The raw materials, energy and wastes have been analyzed for each production stage and an evaluation of the life cycle emissions performed.  Our study shows that 2-methyltetrahydrofuran exhibits lower impact scores in the emissions categories when compared to solvents such as tetrahydrofuran, made through a conventional chemical route.  A further assessment has been performed on the methods to manufacture tetrahydrofuran.  A production pathway starting with the bio-based 2-furfuraldehyde process is greener than a 1,4-butanediol route.

Extended Abstract: File Not Uploaded