- Produce chemicals and plastics from biomass
- Synthesizing allyl alcohol from glycerol
- Synthesizing 1,4-dihydrofuran from erythritol
- Yields low cost materials in quantity and quality suitable for manufacturing
- Some compounds created in one step without expensive reagents
- Minimal waste products and undesirable byproducts
- Potential for deoxygenation of additional biomass-derived polyols
Robert Bergman, Jonathan Ellman, and Elena Robello of Berkeley Lab have created a process to produce olefins from polyols that may be biomass derived. The resulting low cost chemical compounds are produced in a quality and quantity appropriate for industrial applications such as the manufacture of resins or the synthesis of pharmaceuticals. Biomass-derived olefins can also replace petrochemical-based monomers in the production of polymers and oligomers. This invention mitigates the high oxygen content in biomass-derived raw materials making them sustainable substitutes for the fossil-derived raw materials used to produce energy and chemical intermediates.
In addition, the Berkeley Lab researchers are the first to introduce a method of producing high purity allyl alcohol at a large scale by using glycerol as the starting material instead propylene, a petroleum feedstock. Glycerol is a renewable biological source that can be recycled. This method will enable production of commercial quantities of allyl alcohol, the starting material for a variety of polymers, pharmaceuticals and pesticides. In addition, the method doesn’t cause charring or yield undesirable byproducts.
STATUS: Published Patent Application #12/509,985 available at www.uspto.gov. Available for licensing.
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2379