XYZ technology – Catalysis – Renewable chemistry
Avondlezing door prof.dr. Gert-Jan Gruter (CTO Avantium, Amsterdam en UvA; CTO of the Year Europe 2014) georganiseerd door de Bossche Chemische Kring.
In the transition to a sustainable, circular economy, a lot of effort is directed to produce bio-based versions of molecules that we already use today (drop-in) such as bio-based ethylene and para-xylene (terephthalic acid). From a product development/application point of view this sounds logical but it can be questioned if it makes sense to produce hydrocarbons such as p-xylene (C8; no oxygen) from glucose (C6; more than half its mass oxygen). As an alternative, should we make use of the structure already present in carbohydrates when developing new monomers? FDCA (furan dicarboxylic acid) is such an example.
In the lecture, the pro’s and con’s of ‘drop-in’ versus ‘new’ will be discussed by evaluating the main routes to bio-PET and to its alternative bio-PEF by zooming in on process economics and new and improved properties, the required product development and other challenges.
Curriculum Vitae Prof.dr. Gert-Jan Gruter
Gert-Jan (1963) has a background in Polymer Chemistry (DSM 1993-2000) and has been Professor of Polymer Catalysis at Eindhoven University of Technology.
In 2000 he transferred to Avantium and in 2004 he was appointed as CTO. He initiated the YXY technology which includes novel processes from carbohydrates to monomers such as FDCA and ethylene glycol and 100% bio-based polyesters such as PEF for bottles, fibers and film.
Gert-Jan is leading a team to develop a lignocellulosic glucose (2nd generation sugars); the direct selective hydrogenolysis of carbohydrates to ethylene glycol and the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to building blocks such as oxalic acid.
Gert-Jan is inventor on more than 100 patent applications; he was elected “2014 European CTO of the year” and nominated for European inventor of the year in 2017.
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