291602 Sustainable Production of Jet-Propulsion Fuels: Bifunctional Catalytic Conversion of 2,3-Butanediol

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Chelsea McConnell, Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, Quanxing Zheng, Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University and Keith Hohn, Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Full-performance jet propulsion fuels are highly refined to meet fuel specifications for any desired application.  Restraints on jet propulsion fuels have created a need and demand for sustainable routes to such products. The conversion of biomass to fuels employs the use of a renewable resource and has the potential to meet chemical specifications and reduce production costs.  The objective of this research is to convert 2-3 butanediol, a product from the hydrolysis and fermentation of biomass, to butene and other isomers. Butylenes can then be converted into saturated hydrocarbon fuels through additional processes. Since 2-3 butanediol is present at only 6-8% concentrations in the product fermentation broth, it is necessary to develop efficient methods of converting this reactant without energy intensive purification processes. This research approaches this problem by reacting varying concentrations of 2-3 butanediol with a copper containing zeolite catalyst (Cu/ZSM-5) under temperatures of 200-250 degrees Celsius. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry were used to analyze the composition of the liquid and gas phases of the reaction. Concentration was found to not significantly affect the conversion of 2-3 butanediol, although butylenes were not observed to be a highly concentrated product. Methyl ethyl ketone and 1-3 butadiene, reaction intermediates, were seen as the more selective products. Due to the high conversion of reactants, this process is a promising route for the production of butylenes and other valuable products.

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