(283c) Towards the Coupling of Microbial Biosynthesis and Catalysis for the Production of Alkylated Phenolic Compounds
AIChE Annual Meeting
2020 Virtual AIChE Annual Meeting
AIChE Futures: New Directions in Chemical Engineering Research I (Invited Talks)
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 9:30am to 9:45am
In the present study, petroleum-free production of alkylated phenols from glycerol was achieved by judicious use of microbial biosynthesis and heterogeneous catalysis with the aim to advance biomass conversion to industrially relevant chemical products. First, bacterium E. coli was metabolically engineered to convert glycerol to phenol. Biophenol was then extracted from the cell culture using select polymeric resins. Desorption of phenol was achieved with tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA), which serves also as a reactant in subsequent heterogeneous catalytic reaction. The adopted resins were also compared as catalysts for alkylation of phenol to tert-butyl phenolic products. Interestingly, the resins exhibited different phenol adsorption and catalytic reactivities. The holistic approach developed by this study offers a unique opportunity to synthesize end-products directly from glycerol that cannot be achieved in such an efficient manner (i.e. low temperature, low pressure, and high selectivity) by using microbial biosynthesis or heterogeneous catalysis approaches alone.