Progress in using ethanol to make ethylene

By American Chemical Society | August 02, 2013

Ethanol from corn and other plants could become the sustainable, raw material for a huge variety of products, from plastic packaging to detergents to synthetic rubber, that are currently petroleum-based. This was the conclusion of an article published in the ACS journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research

Yingzhe Yu and colleagues point out that a chemical called ethylene, now produced from petroleum, is one of the most important raw materials for everyday products. Ethylene is used to make hundreds of products, including polyethylene, the world’s most widely used plastic. Scientists have been seeking sustainable alternatives to petroleum for making ethylene, and Yu’s team reviewed progress in the field.

They found that one particular device has the potential to make a highly pure ethylene product from ethanol with high efficiency and low cost. The device, called a fluidized bed reactor, works by suspending the chemicals needed to make ethylene inside the walls of a chamber. Newly produced ethylene exits through a pipe, while the rest of the material remains to continue production. Yu’s team discusses progress toward commercial use of such devices, noting that there would be “great significance” for promoting economic development.




1 Responses

  1. Cando



    As with Ethanol we don't know enough to really be using it. I run non ethanol gas in all my vehicles and small gas engines, because of the phase variation that happens with ethanol. It can cause engine failure do to the water molecules and the ehtanol molecules combine and settle to the bottom of the tank and when intorduced to the carborator it begins to gum and foul the plug and engine runs rough and has a lack of power. Storing ethanol gas can really cause problem in any engine. I look for non ethenal gas station in my state...


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