Opportunities for the bio‐based production of Methyl Propionate via 2‐Butanol

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

274 Downloads (Pure)


(Poly)methyl methacrylate is a valuable thermoplastic with wide application in several fields. Currently, methyl methacrylate (MMA) can be produced from ethene via methyl propionate using the Alpha technology, a more environmentally friendly method than the typical acetonecyanohydrin route. Nevertheless, the use of lignocellulosic materials as feedstock to produce bio‐based MMA would potentiate the recycling of agricultural waste biomass, theoretically resulting in zero‐carbon emissions, contrasting with the current use of petrochemical feedstocks. This would also mitigate the industrial impact on climate change. In the present thesis, a bio‐based approach for the production of methyl propionate, the precursor of MMA, has been proposed. The overall process involves a two‐step biotransformation, starting with the anaerobic fermentation of lignocellulosic sugars into 2‐ butanol, pursuing a metabolic route via butanone (a.o.). 2‐Butanol is further used as chemical precursor in a cascade enzymatic reaction, where methyl propionate and ethyl acetate are formed from the Baeyer‐Villiger (BV) oxidation of butanone. The techno‐economic feasibility of this bio‐based approach has been assessed, and critical issues affecting the practicability of the proposed process have been identified at a very early stage of strain engineering and process design…
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van der Wielen, L.A.M., Supervisor
  • Straathof, A.J.J., Supervisor
Award date29 Oct 2018
Print ISBNs978‐94‐6186‐971‐5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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