Novel Catalysts Process Technology for Utilization of CO2 for Ethylene Oxide and Propylene Oxide


Utilization of CO<sub>2</sub> for sustainable, high-value chemical production
Utilization of CO2 for sustainable, high-value chemical production
Research Triangle Institute (RTI)
Website:  Research Triangle Institute
Award Number:  FE0030678
Project Duration:  10/01/2017 – 12/31/2019
Total Award Value:  $1,000,000
DOE Share:  $800,000
Performer Share:  $200,000
Technology Area:  Carbon Use and Reuse
Key Technology:  CO2 Use
Location:  Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Project Description

Research Triangle Institute (RTI) is partnering with LyondellBasell (LYB) and Saudi Aramco to advance their novel catalytic process for the utilization of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a feedstock and oxidant for chemical production. The catalytic process reacts CO2 with ethylene to produce valuable chemical industry feedstocks (ethylene oxide [EtO] and carbon monoxide) with lower energy requirements than conventional EtO production processes. The mixed metal oxide catalysts developed will be characterized and optimized to maximize EtO yield and selectivity for production. Long-term stability of the best-performing refined catalyst will be evaluated. Additionally, the existing CO2-EtO catalysts will be modified to formulate new catalysts for converting CO2 to another high-value chemical, propylene oxide (PO), in an analogous process. The modified catalysts will be screened for PO production and the most promising catalyst will be tested at lab-scale to evaluate PO yield. The research partners will participate in the development of Aspen models for both catalytic processes, assessment of the catalysts, and assist in development of techno-economic analyses based on the models.

Project Benefits

This innovative catalytic process economically converts CO2 from flue gas into valuable chemicals, resulting in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the conventional process for producing intermediates for the petrochemical industry. Adoption of the CO2-EtO technology could lead to a reduction of CO2 emissions of more than 2.8 megatonne (Mt) for each Mt of EtO produced compared with conventional technologies.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Steven Mascaro:
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett:
Principal Investigator 
Dr. S. James Zhou:

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