Our technology is based on the Guerbet reaction. It is a condensation reaction of two alcohols into the final ‘Guerbet’ alcohol with the release of water.
The Guerbet reaction, named after Marcel Guerbet (1861–1938), is an organic reaction producing a molecule of a primary alcohol product from two smaller primary alcohols with loss of one equivalent molecule of water. This reaction requires a catalyst and elevated temperatures. The alcohols derived from this reaction are called Guerbet alcohols.
Catalyxx technology is based on the work that Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies developed for more than five years. The technology package includes seven patents and pending patent applications.
This technology has been able to surpass the previous state of the art yield by more than 60%. Moreover, it has a very high selectivity and it is able, depending on the reaction conditions, to adapt the final product yields to optimize plant revenues and profits.
The most common method to produce butanol is called the “Oxo Process”. In this process, propylene reacts with a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen to produce butanol and 2 ethyl hexanol (2EH). Propylene is produced as a by-product of ethylene production in naphtha crackers.
The Catalyxx production process is a chemical “catalytic” process using a bio-based feedstock, versus other “biological” reaction processes using fermentation. The advantage of the catalytic process is the ability to scale and reduce cost. Catalyxx will use conventional petrochemical equipment (reactors, distillation columns, heat exchangers, molecular sieves, etc.) that have been used for decades.
The Catalyxx process will result in a reduction of almost 60% in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the Oxo Process.
Our process for the production of n-butanol, n-hexanol, n-octanol, 2-EH, n-decanol and other branched alcohols is protected by patents.