Anda di halaman 1dari 9

Production of Butanol

A patent pending process for production of 2-butanol


from mixed sugars in hydrolysates of hemicellulose

And also from glucose

Figure 1: Four Steps to Ethanol and Butanol

Cellulosics such as cornstalks

Hemicellulose Hemicellulose
Pretreatment conversion

Cellulose Butanol
Cellulases
4A Processing Cellulases
production
Ethanol

1
Mixed Sugars from Hemicellulose

Hydrolysis of hemocellulose generates a mixture of


mono-saccharides, including pentoses (C5) such as
xylose and arabinose and hexoses (C6) such as galactose
and mannose.

Conversion of C6 and C5 Monosaccharides


to 2,3-Butanediol by Bacterial Fermentation

A little chemistry:

C6H12O6 = CH3CHOHCHOHCH3 + 2CO2 + H2


180 90 2x44 2

Practical yield of bacterial fermentation has been


about 90% of the theoretical maximum.

2
A few words about 2,3-butanediol

1. Fermentation of mixed sugars to generate


2,3-butanediol

2. Two pounds of mixed sugars will yield one pound


of 2,3-butanediol

3. Easy anaerobic fermentation to exhaust all soluble


sugars leaving little BOD

4. 2,3-Butanediol useful as an antifreeze agent

A Little More Chemistry

Dehydration of 2,3-butanediol will generate methyl ethyl


ketone (MEK) nearly quantitatively
(yield of 90 plus %)

CH3CHOHCHOHCH3 Æ C2H5COCH3 + H2O


90 72 18

3
MEK from Mixed Sugars of Hemicellulose

1. Direct conversion to MEK without first purifying


2,3-butanediol

2. Two pounds of mixed sugars can yield


0.8 pound of MEK

3. Adaptable to continuous operation with


a tubular reactor packed with solid catalyst

4. Reaction complete with little pollution of concern

A Few Words about MEK

MEK is currently a product of petrochemical processing.

Its price has increased from a long-term stable value


of $0.52 to over $1.00 per pound since crude oil price
increases in the last two years.

MEK has an annual volume of about 700,000


tons worldwide.

4
What is beyond MEK? Butanol! Why Butanol?

Gasoline (average C6H14): 20,200 BTU/lb


Butanol (C4H10O): 14,200 BTU/lb
Ethanol (C2H6O): 12,800 BTU/lb

Ethanol and butanol contain oxygen and can both be


used as oxygenates for gasoline.

A Few Words About Butanol

Butanol contains more energy, is more hydrocarbon-like,


and blends easier with gasoline than ethanol.
Butanol does not adsorb moisture from air.
Without moisture, butanol causes no corrosion.
Butanol and butanol-gasoline blends can be transported
through existing pipelines, without expensive trucking.
Major oil companies show more interests
in butanol than ethanol.

5
Still a Little More Chemistry

CH3CH2COCH3 + H2Æ CH3CH2CHOHCH3


MEK 2-butanol

Theoretical weight yield:


100 grams of MEK can produce 103 grams of 2-butanol

Practical yield: 90% of the theoretical

Process in Three Steps

1. Fermentation to convert sugars to 2,3-butanediol

2. Chemical dehydration of 2,3-butanediol to


form methyl ethyl ketone, a marketable
intermediate product

3. Hydrogenation of methyl ethyl ketone to produce


2-butanol.

6
Overall yield

100 grams of C6 or C5 sugars from hemicellulose


hydrolysis will yield 34.5 grams of 2-butanol.

Approximately, 1 ton of 2-butanol from 3 tons of sugars


from starch, cellulose and hemicellulose or 100 gallons
of 2-butanol per ton of sugars.

There are Four Butanol Isomers

n-Butanol CH3CH2CH2CH2OH

2-Butanol CH3CH2CHOHCH3

iso-Butanol (CH3)2CHCH2OH

t-Butanol (CH3)3COH

7
t-Butanol (CH3)3COH

t-Butanol is a product of petrochemical processing. No


known biological process can produce t-butanol.

n-Butanol CH3CH2CH2CH2OH

n-butanol is one of three products of ABE fermentation that predated


the petrochemical industry. Acetone, Butanol and Ethanol are
produced in the ratio of 3:6:1. The high toxicity of butanol towards
the bacterial cells that produce it limits the final concentration of
butanol to 14 g/L. The industry disappeared after petro-processing
became popular.

The process suffers from low yield, high cost of separation of co-
products and handling of strictly anaerobic conditions. Recent
interest in biofuels promoted renewed studies of ABE fermentation.
A higher concentration of 18 g/L has reportedly been achieved.

8
iso-Butanol (CH3)2CHCH2OH

iso-Butanol exists in very small quantities in the “fusel oil”


of beverage alcohol fermentation. Genetically modified
microbial cells have achieved higher yield. It is not as
toxic as n-butanol but the final concentration is still no
more than about 60 g/L as reported.

Comparing n-, 2-, iso-, and t-Butanol

n-butanol is made from glucose only by a strict anaerobic bacterial


fermentation that is hard to handle and n-butanol toxicity limits the
final broth to 1.4% n-butanol.

iso-butanol is also a fermentation product of and the toxicity limits


the final concentration to only 6%.

t-butanol is not a product of biotechnology.

2-butanol is made from fermentation using C5 and also C6 sugars to


produce intermediate 2,3-butanediol that has inhibitory effect only
after the concentration reaches 11 plus %.