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Issue 12, 2012
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Production of butene oligomers as transportation fuels using butene for esterification of levulinic acid from lignocellulosic biomass: process synthesis and technoeconomic evaluation

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Abstract

Levulinic acid (LA) is a valuable platform chemical upon which biorefining strategies for the production of chemicals, fuels and power can be established. Herein, we report the results of process synthesis and technoeconomic analysis studies for the conversion of lignocellulose derived LA to liquid fuels through the intermediate formation of levulinate esters. In this strategy, esterification of levulinic and formic acids with alkenes (i.e., butene) produces hydrophobic esters, which extract the unconverted LA from the aqueous sulfuric acid solution. Following the γ-valerolactone (GVL) production from LA and levulinate esters, GVL is converted to butene, hence providing the butene required for esterification and butene oligomers. The minimum selling price of butene oligomers from a 1365 dry tons per day of loblolly pine processing facility is calculated to be $4.92 per gallon of gasoline equivalent. Our analysis shows that the biomass feedstock price is the main cost driver.

Graphical abstract: Production of butene oligomers as transportation fuels using butene for esterification of levulinic acid from lignocellulosic biomass: process synthesis and technoeconomic evaluation

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Jun 2012, accepted on 26 Sep 2012 and first published on 01 Oct 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2GC35881F
Citation: Green Chem., 2012,14, 3289-3294
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    Production of butene oligomers as transportation fuels using butene for esterification of levulinic acid from lignocellulosic biomass: process synthesis and technoeconomic evaluation

    S. M. Sen, E. I. Gürbüz, S. G. Wettstein, D. M. Alonso, J. A. Dumesic and C. T. Maravelias, Green Chem., 2012, 14, 3289
    DOI: 10.1039/C2GC35881F

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