Chemical Design Process for Production of 2,5-Furandicarboxylic Acid via a Hydroxymethylfurfural Pathway
Chemical & Materials Engineering
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The topic of this senior design project was provided by Micromidas Inc. (Sacramento, CA) and was completed under the advisement of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. The problem statement – proposed by Micromidas’ CEO and Head of Engineering – requested that the team design a chemical process to produce a chemical precursor to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), an important chemical used in the production of plastics. The intermediate precursor was to be derived from fructose – a sustainable feed obtainable from biomass – and was selected by the team to be hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). The chemical process designed was based off methods from scientific literature, scaled up using chemical engineering techniques, and analyzed using CHEMCAD simulation software. Both a base case process and alternative case process were developed and an economic comparison was performed.