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Process for producing ethanol from syngas

United States Patent

8,440,867
May 14, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
U.S. Department of Energy - Visit the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Technology Transfer & Intellectual Property Website
The invention provides a method for producing ethanol, the method comprising establishing an atmosphere containing methanol forming catalyst and ethanol forming catalyst; injecting syngas into the atmosphere at a temperature and for a time sufficient to produce methanol; and contacting the produced methanol with additional syngas at a temperature and for a time sufficient to produce ethanol. The invention also provides an integrated system for producing methanol and ethanol from syngas, the system comprising an atmosphere isolated from the ambient environment; a first catalyst to produce methanol from syngas wherein the first catalyst resides in the atmosphere; a second catalyst to product ethanol from methanol and syngas, wherein the second catalyst resides in the atmosphere; a conduit for introducing syngas to the atmosphere; and a device for removing ethanol from the atmosphere. The exothermicity of the method and system obviates the need for input of additional heat from outside the atmosphere.
Krause; Theodore R. (Naperville, IL), Rathke; Jerome W. (Homer Glen, IL), Chen; Michael J. (Downers Grove, IL)
U.S. Department of Energy (Washington, DC)
12/ 848,496
August 2, 2010
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357 between the U.S. Department of Energy and U Chicago Argonne, LLC, representing Argonne National Laboratory.