Sugar derived polyols and diols by catalytic hydrogenation/hydrogenolysis (AUTH, GR)

PL3 will comprise of two high-pressure, continuous flow, packed-bed reactors that can operate in separate or in cascade mode for the initial selective production of polyols/sugar alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol) and the controlled downstream hydrogenolysis to glycols/diols (glycerol, EG, 1,2-PDO), using state-of-the-art commercial or in-house catalysts. This pilot line configuration offers the flexibility to simultaneously operate both processes which require different conditions, e.g. 100-120oC, 40-80 bar H2 for hydrogenation vs. 180-240oC, 40-80 bar H2 for hydrogenolysis. Similarly, when sugar derived di-acids (e.g. succinic acid) will be used as feedstock, the production of α,ω-diols (e.g. 1,4-BDO) will be performed via lactone (GBL) intermediate formation. The polyols/diols product streams will be used as received in the various polymerization reactions in comparison to pure single compounds towards minimizing the need of separation/purification and increasing the economics of the whole value chain. Still, separation/purification of polyols/diols from the product mixtures will be also developed in PL 6.

pilot lines templates image
pilot lines templates image

The PL will be upgraded by adding a second high pressure, continuous flow stirred reactor (with a process capacity of 1-20 L/day of 5-20wt.% sugar feed solution, depending on the required WSHV) with the necessary peripherals, such as catalyst packed-bed holding device, furnace, tubing, mass flow controllers, feeding pumps, high pressure gas/liquid separators and product collectors, alarm shut off valves, control and data acquisition systems. The existing high pressure, continuous flow fixed-bed reactor, operating under trickle-bed mode will be also upgraded with a larger tube reactor (processing capacity 1-20 L/day of 10-20wt.% sugar feed solution).