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Sustainable production of alkyl esters via thermal process in the presence of carbon black.

Environmental research (2020-02-07)
Eilhann E Kwon, Jong-Min Jung, Hyung Ju Kim, Jechan Lee
ABSTRACT

In this study, it is introduced a sustainable synthetic route of alkyl esters, considered value-added industrial chemicals and fuels, from volatile fatty acids (VFAs) that can potentially be generated from organic waste. In the presence of a porous carbon material, the thermally induced reaction could be conducted under an initial pressure of 1 atm. Even though the reaction was finished within <10 s, they gave a high yield of target products: the conversion of six VFAs into their corresponding methyl esters which can be further converted into gasoline alternatives with >90 wt% yields. The carbon black showed better performance for both reactions than other commercially available porous material such as silica. This work suggests that carbon is a good option of being used as a porous material for thermal esterification to produce renewable alternative chemicals from waste-derived feedstocks.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Valeric acid, natural, ≥98%, FG
Supelco
Silica gel, high-purity grade (Davisil Grade 635), pore size 60 Å, 60-100 mesh
Sigma-Aldrich
Isovaleric acid, natural, ≥98%, FG