(400f) Catalyst Development and Process Intensification of a Bio-Renewable Surfactants Platform | AIChE

(400f) Catalyst Development and Process Intensification of a Bio-Renewable Surfactants Platform


Yang, X. - Presenter, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Moore, C., Los Alamos National Laboratory
Eady, S., University of Michigan
Krumm, C., Sironix Renewables
Semelsberger, T., Los Alamos National Laboratory
Surfactants are the key active ingredient in cleaning products, with long lists of additional builder ingredients added to boost function while maintaining product safety and shelf life. These builder chemicals increase product cost and volume and biodegrade poorly. Sironix Renewables has invented a new class of surfactants, called Oleo-Furan Surfactants (OFS), which eliminate the need for these additional chemicals, reducing volume and resulting in a product that biodegrades readily. The OFS technology links the function of bio-based furan building blocks with natural oils to produce multifunctional and eco-friendly cleaning products. The technology gives improved performance, and by eliminating builder chemicals, reduces volume (and therefore packaging) by up to 30%. These features result in a reduced overall energy consumption while producing a more environmentally friendly product. The joint research project between Sironix Renewables and Los Alamos National Laboratory is designed to leverage the catalytic reaction engineering, catalyst development, and furan chemistry resources of the DOE national laboratories with the surfactants platform of Sironix Renewables to accelerate the DOE-invented and DOE Small Business Innovation Research-funded technology toward market commercialization. This presentation will detail efforts toward process improvements to achieve efficient scale-up of existing surfactants and the development of a new class of furan-based structures to facilitate a greater understanding of their underlying structure-function relationships.