Catalytic upgrading of fermentation-derived organic acids

Sriram Varadarajan, Dennis J. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 125 Citations

Abstract

The production of organic acids in low-cost, high-efficiency fermentation processes makes available a new route to chemical production from biomass. Because of their multiple functional groups and high reactivity, organic acids can undergo a variety of reactions that are effectively catalyzed by inorganic heterogeneous or homogeneous catalysts. Lactic acid and succinic acid, in particular, are approaching large-scale production via fermentation and show excellent promise as feedstocks for catalytic conversion routes such as hydrogenation, dehydration, or condensation. A number of catalytic conversion pathways of organic acids are potentially competitive with petroleum-based routes in the current economic environment, particularly when integrated into existing biomass/crop processing schemes. This article reviews some of the key reaction pathways available using fermentation-derived organic acids as feedstocks and presents recent results from the authors' lab on succinate hydrogenation to 1,4-butanediol and tetrahydrofuran. By a judicious choice of support properties and reaction conditions, it is possible to achieve yields of either of these two products in excess of 80%.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages845-854
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 17 1999

Profile

Fermentation
organic acids and salts
fermentation
Acids
Hydrogenation
hydrogenation
Succinic Acid
succinic acid
feedstocks
Biomass
butanediol
energy crops
Petroleum
Dehydration
catalysts
petroleum
lactic acid
Lactic Acid
Economics
Costs and Cost Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology

Cite this

Catalytic upgrading of fermentation-derived organic acids. / Varadarajan, Sriram; Miller, Dennis J.

In: Biotechnology Progress, Vol. 15, No. 5, 17.09.1999, p. 845-854.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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