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Progress in using ethanol to make key raw material now produced from oil

Date:
July 31, 2013
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Ethanol from corn and other plants could become the sustainable, raw material for a huge variety of products, from plastic packaging to detergents to synthetic rubber, that are currently petroleum-based.

Ethanol from corn and other plants could become the sustainable, raw material for a huge variety of products, from plastic packaging to detergents to synthetic rubber, that are currently petroleum-based. This was the conclusion of an article published in the ACS journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

Yingzhe Yu and colleagues point out that a chemical called ethylene, now produced from petroleum, is one of the most important raw materials for everyday products. Ethylene is used to make hundreds of products, including polyethylene, the world's most widely used plastic. Scientists have been seeking sustainable alternatives to petroleum for making ethylene, and Yu's team reviewed progress in the field.

They found that one particular device has the potential to make a highly pure ethylene product from ethanol with high efficiency and low cost. The device, called a fluidized bed reactor, works by suspending the chemicals needed to make ethylene inside the walls of a chamber. Newly produced ethylene exits through a pipe, while the rest of the material remains to continue production. Yu's team discusses progress toward commercial use of such devices, noting that there would be "great significance" for promoting economic development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Minhua Zhang, Yingzhe Yu. Dehydration of Ethanol to Ethylene. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2013; 52 (28): 9505 DOI: 10.1021/ie401157c

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Progress in using ethanol to make key raw material now produced from oil." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731105746.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2013, July 31). Progress in using ethanol to make key raw material now produced from oil. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731105746.htm
American Chemical Society. "Progress in using ethanol to make key raw material now produced from oil." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731105746.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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