432145 Assessment of the Sustainability-Potential of Adipic Acid Processes

Wednesday, November 11, 2015: 12:55 PM
Salon J (Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek)
John R. Schlup, Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS and Oguz B. Kurtulan, Rennovia, Santa Clara, CA

The concept of sustainability-potential has been demonstrated to be a valuable tool for considering alternate chemical process schemes.  This hierarchical approach is a generalization of the notion of gross profit potential (GPP).  As such, it permits assessment of the technoeconomic, environmental, and societal impacts of a process in the early stages of its design.  In the present work, the sustainability-potential of adipic acid production from a biorenewable feedstock will be compared with that of conventional adipic acid processes based upon petroleum feedstocks.  Consideration of the gross available exergy dissipation for the conventional route (-983 kJ/mole) is much more negative than that for the biorenewable approach (-146 kJ/mole).  As such the biorenewable approach is more sustainable from a thermodynamic standpoint.  The gross profit potential shows the opposite trend.  The GPP for the biorenewable approach is quite low while the conventional adipic acid process has a positive GPP.  Arriving at a toxicity index is a much more subjective process.  Using measured and estimated values for the fathead minnow LC50 as a toxicity index, the two processes are roughly equivalent.  Alternate indices for environmental and health considerations will be discussed.

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See more of this Session: Process Research and Development for Industrial Sustainability
See more of this Group/Topical: Process Development Division