US study explores using CO2 to make acrylic acid


Research is underway to see if carbon dioxide could be used to make acrylic acid, a common component of many household industrial products.

Funded by the Department of Energy (DoE), the theoretical study is being led by Bin Wang, associate professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering in the Gallogly College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma.

Acrylic acid is used to make disposable diapers, clothing, plastics and many other consumer applications. It is currently produced by combining ethylene, the most common industrial chemical, with propene.

Wang said, “If you can replace propene with CO2, there are two advantages. First, there is currently an industrial shortage of propene which has made the cost increase. Second, if you can use CO2 as feedstock, it provides an opportunity to make CO2 more valuable.”

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