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Bio-based adipic acid

By Chemical Engineering |

Adipic acid is a dicarboxylic acid that is widely applied to the production of nylon, polyurethanes, plasticizers and other polymers. Its main use is as one of the raw materials for the manufacture of the polyamide nylon 6,6. In 2012, 80% of the total adipic-acid demand was directed to this application. The traditional production method for adipic acid is based on the oxidation of cyclohexane, a petroleum-based feedstock. However, adipic acid is among the growing group of industrial compounds for which more-sustainable production methods have been developed. A bio-based route to adipic acid has emerged as an alternative to petroleum-derived adipic acid. Bio-adipic acid can be produced from renewable feedstocks, such as sugar and plant-based oils.  Figure 1. Bio-based ­adipic acid production is based on fermentation, ultrafiltration and crystallization processes The process Adipic acid is produced by a microorganism-based fermentation process that uses a sucrose solution as the feedstock (Figure 1). The process described below was compiled based on information available in the published literature. Sugar inversion. Sucrose is hydrolyzed to fructose and glucose, which are the compounds actually consumed in fermentation. The…
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