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A step forward for the production of bio-based glucaric and adipic acids

By Gerald Ondrey |

Last month, Johnson Matthey Process Technologies (JMPT; London, U.K.; www.matthey.com) and Rennovia Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.; www.rennovia.com) successfully started-up a fully integrated mini-plant for production of glucaric acid from glucose using jointly developed technology. The mini-plant is located at the JMPT R&D Center in Stockton, England. The first phase of the project has started-up, whereby glucose is catalytically oxidized to glucaric acid. This takes place in a standard fixed-bed reactor using a proprietary supported-metal heterogeneous catalyst operating with air, water and glucose. This process is said to be simpler and cleaner than conventional routes that use nitric acid oxidation, which produces oxides of nitrogen (NOx) as a byproduct. The new route also has a higher yield and selectivity, says JMPT. Also underway is the design and construction of the second phase of the facility, which is scheduled for completion in mid 2016. In this phase, jointly developed technology for the catalytic hydrogenation of glucaric acid to adipic acid will be further developed. The learnings from this mini-plant will provide the design basis for commercial-scale manufacturing facilities, and will enable us to provide licensees…
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