Techno-economic Analysis of a Chemical Process to Manufacture Methyl-Îμ -caprolactone from Cresols

David J. Lundberg, Daniel J. Lundberg, Marc A Hillmyer, Paul J Dauenhauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Methyl-e-caprolactone is a monomer used in the manufacture of elastomeric biodegradable polymers with enhanced properties. We present here the conceptual process design for the production of methyl-e-caprolactone from para-cresol, a biorenewable feedstock obtained from lignin. The two-reaction process consists of cresol hydrogenation to methyl-cyclohexanone followed by Baeyer-Villiger oxidation to methyl-e-caprolactone. Details for designing an optimized process include unit operation design of two reactors, one decanter, one flash tank, and five distillation columns. Distillation and integrated heat transfer were determined via process simulation, with the objective of optimizing the process for net present value. For cresol obtained at $1.00 kg -1 , the minimum selling price of methyl-e-caprolactone (defined as the product selling price that results in a zero net present value of the entire 30 year project) was $3.521, $2.798, and $2.557 kg -1 ($1.600, $1.272, and $1.162 lb m -1 ) at three process scales of 10, 30, and 60 kton yr -1 of para-cresol feed. A sensitivity analysis of the major process variables identified catalyst selectivity to methyl-e-caprolactone in the Baeyer-Villiger oxidation reaction as the key parameter for improving process economic potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15316-15324
Number of pages9
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Volume6
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 5 2018

Fingerprint

Cresols
Economic analysis
economic analysis
distillation
chemical process
cresol
Sales
oxidation
Oxidation
Biodegradable polymers
Catalyst selectivity
Distillation columns
Lignin
Distillation
Feedstocks
lignin
Sensitivity analysis
Hydrogenation
heat transfer
sensitivity analysis

Keywords

  • Caprolactone
  • Cresol
  • Elastomer
  • Hydrogenation
  • Oxidation

Cite this

Techno-economic Analysis of a Chemical Process to Manufacture Methyl-Îμ -caprolactone from Cresols. / Lundberg, David J.; Lundberg, Daniel J.; Hillmyer, Marc A; Dauenhauer, Paul J.

In: ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 11, 05.11.2018, p. 15316-15324.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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