My first school exam is coming up so I have to eased down my social media activities a bit (and here I thought being unemployed will give me more time to nap...).
According to this report from energy publisher SBI (which I saw on Specialchem.com), the market for bio-based epichlorohydrin (ECH) and biomethanol are the fastest growing segments in the bio-based chemicals industry because of the growing demand for biofuels.
What is the connection between ECH and biofuels, you ask?
Traditionally, ECH (a chemical intermediate primarily used in the manufacture of epoxy resins) is produced via allyl chloride route using propylene and chlorine as initial feedstock or allyl alcohol route via direct oxidation of propylene in acetic acid as the initial processing step. The chart below from Chemsystems shows the routes towards ECH production. These petro-based routes produce synthetic glycerol as one of the byproducts.
In the past several years because of the deluge of crude natural glycerol as byproduct of biodiesel production, several ECH producers worldwide have looked into using glycerol as feedstock to produce ECH instead. Not only are there cheap, readily available crude cheap glycerol worldwide but it is also a bio-based material.
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