A client’s research had discovered that an unexpected product was obtained in a fermentation process. Although this product had no established market, it was a potential intermediate for production of other valuable products. AVN helped identify three specific target molecules of value, and then carried out proof-of-concept studies that demonstrated the efficient catalytic conversion to one of these products. Several heterogeneous hydrogenation catalysts were screened to identify the class with the best performance. A conceptual process was developed, and preliminary economic evaluations were carried out. Routes to the other products were also investigated, and it was concluded that they were unlikely to have practical potential. This short-term project helped the client assess the potential value of its technology.
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