Breakthrough Could Lead to Cheaper, More Sustainable Chemical Production, Yale University and Brown University Study
Published: Mar 22, 2013
A key advance, newly reported by chemists from Brown and Yale Universities, could lead to a cheaper and more sustainable way to make acrylate, an important commodity chemical used to make materials from polyester fabrics to diapers. Chemical companies churn out billions of tons of acrylate each year, usually by heating propylene, a compound derived from crude oil. "What we're interested in is enhancing both the economics and the sustainability of how acrylate is made," said Wesley Bernskoetter, assistant professor of chemistry at Brown, who led the research. "Right now, everything that goes into making it is from relatively expensive, nonrenewable carbon sources."