Conversion of low alcohols to high alcohols through continuous process with highly active multifunctional catalysts
In this project, a series of highly efficient and highly selective multifunctional Guerbet catalysts are developed and will be investigated for the condensation of low alcohols to high alcohols in a continuous-flow reactor. Low energy density bioethanol and methanol will be upgraded to n-butanol and iso-butanol with high energy content comparable to gasoline with high octane number and good miscibility with gasoline. Long chain linear alcohols C6-C10 will also be converted to branched primary alcohols C12-20 with high value application as additives, lubricants and surfactants. Successful development of the present process will not only establish new processes to produce a couple of value added products with low cost, it also strengthens the partner organizations (Western Maple Bio Resources Inc, or WMB for short) goal of developing green chemical technologies and products to benefit human health. The project will also promote the utilization of renewable resources to build a sustainable economy.