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Center for Catalysis. Center for Catalysis (CCAT) at Iowa State University is dedicated to the development of useful, practical catalysts and sustainable green chemistry methods.

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Center for catalysis
Center for Catalysis

Center for Catalysis (CCAT) at Iowa State University is dedicated to the development of useful, practical catalysts and sustainable green chemistry methods.

CCAT scientists investigate the application of catalysis and green chemistry methods to agricultural, industrial and environmental science.


Chemistry of biodiesel
Chemistry of Biodiesel

Transesterification

oil

glycerol


Separation

Neutralization

Water Wash

Neutralization

Water Wash

Renewable

Catalysts

Separation

Reactor

Oil

Oil Soluble Catalyst

Methanol

Oil

Methanol

Current Catalyst Process vs. New Catalyst Process

Current Process

Uses Non renewable Catalyst Catalyst left in glycerin co-product Catalyst requires water washing

New Catalysts Process

Renewable catalysts Eliminates catalyst from glycerin co-product Eliminates water washing


Biodiesel
Biodiesel

  • Goal: Convert soy oil into biodiesel and convert byproducts of process into other value-added products, e.g., PDO, anti-freeze.

  • Approach: Use mesoporous silica nanocatalysts to speed up the conversion process

  • Agricultural Nanotechnology

SEM image of the mesoporous silica microsphere.

TEM image of cross-section showing hexagonal lattice units of porous framework.


Usda value added grant
USDA Value-Added Grant

Methyl Ester Uses (currently marketed by West Central Soy)

SoyPOWER biodiesel

SoyPOWER diesel additive

SoyPOWER methyl soyate

BioSOY Hydraulic Oil

SoyTRUK Fifth Wheel Grease

SoyLINK Chain Bar Lubricant

Graffiti Remover

Asphalt Release Concentrate

SoyPLUS (dairy feed ingredient

Crude

Biodiesel

Methanol

Recovery

Methanol

Recovery

Biodiesel

Methanol

Separation

Renewable Catalysts

Feedstock

Renewable

Catalyst-

Conversion of Glycerin

to PDO

Methanol

Recovery

Crude

Glycerin

PDO – Used for:

Adhesives

Antifreeze

Composites

Carpets and textiles

Engine coolants

Polyesters

Resins

Solvents

Urethanes

Water based inks


Anticipated benefits of new catalysts
Anticipated benefits of new catalysts

  • Recyclable Catalysts

  • No catalytic residual left in methyl ester or glycerin

  • Reduce energy consumption

  • Reduced construction costs

  • Enhance economic competitiveness

  • Reduce environmental impacts


Scale up activities
Scale-up Activities

  • Successfully replicated bench-scale procedure to synthesize acid catalyst

    • Produced over 700 grams of mesoporous silica material in batches that were more than 30 times larger than bench scale


Free fatty acid containing feedstock for biodiesel synthesis

Animal Fat or

Restaurant Oil

Biodiesel

Base catalyst destroyed

by FFA’s (soap formation)

Fatty acid free Oil

Esterification

by acid catalyst

Transesterification

by base catalyst

Free Fatty Acid Containing Feedstock For Biodiesel Synthesis

Oil

Glycerol

Biodiesel


Soybean Biorefinery

Soybean oil

Catalyst

Biodiesel + glycerol



Value added products


Synthesis of pdo via ionic hydrogenation

Glycerol to PDO:

Synthesis of PDO via Ionic Hydrogenation

Triglyceride to Biodiesel and Glycerol:


Anticipated economic development benefits
Anticipated Economic Development Benefits

  • Center for Catalysis, ISU – basic science which creates new commercial business opportunities

    • New base catalyst facility, West Central

    • New acid catalyst facility, West Central

    • New glycerin catalysis synthesis facility, West Central

  • Excellent opportunity for Iowa Values Fund

    • Development that is located in rural area – benefits agricultural and manufacturing sector

    • Creates good, quality jobs


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