France-based Arkema said it has already concluded a successful collaboration with Germany-based hte (the high throughput experimentation company) on trying to convert glycerol to acrylic acid and acrolein by screening a variety of new suitable catalysts.
Arkema said hte's technology saved a vast amount of time and they were able to produce results in a matter of months that would normally have taken over two years using conventional testing equipment. No word yet on Arkema's next step with the project. A pilot plant perhaps?
Meanwhile, ICIS News reported (this link is subscription only) that US-based Novomer is working to produce a greener acrylic acid using ethylene and recycled carbon monoxide. The process, according to Novomer, would create higher yields, fewer byproducts and require less energy compared to the traditional propylene-based acrylic acid route.