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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

New process for butyraldehyde could save energy, cut costs

For many years, scientists have been exploring what happens when gases like carbon dioxide are dissolved in liquids.

Of course we all know what happens to water when carbon dioxide gas is added: it turns fizzy. But what happens when gases are added to organic solvents? They take up huge amounts of gases, expanding in volume like an inflatable beach ball. This changes their physical properties and impacts chemical reactions—such as hydroformylations—performed in that environment.

CEBC Director Bala Subramaniam and his graduate student, Dupeng Liu, are exploiting the novel effects of these “gas expanded liquids.” Recently, Liu’s research showed how this technology enhances the making of butyraldehyde, a building block for consumer products like detergents, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals.

The results, which are published in the AIChE journal, suggest the technology enables using a mixed feed of propane and propylene, instead of just super pure propylene like the current industrial process. Since only propylene reacts to make the product, the enriched propane stream from the reactor can be reused to make more propylene! 

Eliminating the need for a costly purification step could save energy, curb greenhouse gas emissions and cut both capital and production costs.

Liu, D.; Chaudhari, R.V.; Subramaniam, B. "Enhanced solubility of hydrogen and carbon monoxide in propane- and propylene-expanded liquids," AIChE J. 2018 64:3 970-980. (Abstract)

CEBC Calendar

March 4, Thursday - Industry Colloquium 
9:00 a.m., via Zoom
Allyn Kaufmann, US Whitespace & Innovation Lead
"Serial Innovation in Consumer Heathcare - Intersection of Chemistry and the Consumer"

March 10, Wednesday - Mandatory Safety Meeting 
9:00 a.m., via Zoom
Mandatory for all CEBC researchers working at 1501 Wakarusa

March 25, Thursday - Industry Colloquium 
9:00 a.m., via Zoom
Nikola Juhasz, Global Technical Director, Sustainability
Sun Chemical Corporation, Carlstadt, NJ
"Sustainability of Packaging Industry"

April 1, Thursday - Industry Colloquium 
9:00 a.m., via Zoom
Sagar Sarsani, Project Leader
Sabic, Sugarland, TX
"Chemical Industry R&D Career Pathways"

April 12 & 13, Monday & Tuesday - Spring Advisory Boards Meeting
& Project Evaluations

1:00-3:00 p.m. each day, via Zoom
Click here to register

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