First Pilot Plant for Bio-Based Aniline

First Pilot Plant for Bio-Based Aniline

Author: ChemistryViews

Covestro has launched a pilot plant at its Leverkusen site to produce aniline—an important chemical used in various industries—entirely from plant biomass, thus eliminating the need for petroleum. The process, developed in collaboration with scientific partners, uses a customized microorganism to ferment industrial plant sugars into an intermediate product under milder conditions than conventional methods. Subsequent chemical catalysis then converts this intermediate into aniline.

The pilot plant will initially produce significant quantities of bio-based aniline to further develop and scale up the technology for industrial use. The first test products have already been successfully manufactured from the bio-based aniline. For example, the polyurethane precursor methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) produced from it was used in typical polyurethane applications such as insulating insulation, viscoelastic foam or as a concrete coating, and could easily compete with its petroleum-based counterparts.

Research on bio-based aniline will continue to be funded by the German government. German Ministry for Food and Agriculture is funding a follow-up project (Bio4PURDemo) from Covestro and partners that started in March 2022 and runs until 2025. The RWTH Aachen, Germany, with its CAT Catalytic Center and the University of Stuttgart, Germany, with its Technology Transfer Initiative are also involved in the project.

Currently, around six million tons of aniline are produced annually worldwide, with Covestro positioned as a leading producer with a production capacity of more than one million tons per year.


Also of Interest

Aniline From Plants

News: Aniline From Plants

Covestro obtains aniline, a key chemical for many industrial processes, from biomass



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