Acrylonitrile from renewable raw materials

EnzymicalS and Dralon to develop biocatalytic synthesis route

20-Jul-2017 - Germany

Biocatalytic produced acrylonitrile is of great industrial interest to the "CO2 footprint" of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fiber production. To address this, the main component for the production of PAN fibers, acrylonitrile, will be completely synthesized from renewable resources.

The objective of this project is to investigate whether renewable raw materials can serve as a starting point for competitive biocatalyzed polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers / recursors and to identify "green alternatives" to petroleum-based production routes.

For this purpose, acrylonitrile (ACN) is to be produced from biomass at several stages. The starting material is bioethanol from biomass. This is converted into acrylonitrile in several synthesis steps. For this, established classical chemical reactions are combined with a new biocatalytic pathway. Thus, this route would enable the production of biobased acrylonitrile.

The project is divided in two subprojects in which Enzymicals AG will establish the biocatalytic synthesis step, scale up, demonstrate and characterize it.

Dralon GmbH will investigate the polymerization of biocatalytically prepared acrylonitrile. Then this polyacrylonitrile is spun into fibers so as to evaluate its suitability for producing biobased PAN fibers.

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