06.04.2014 11:51

Nylon can be prepared from sugar

Adipic acid, which is a raw material for a variety of synthetic materials may be produced from non-petroleum hydrocarbons, and of galactose, and this new method is simpler, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than petroleum fractions manipulation.

Nylon, which we use in the production of all kinds of household synthetics (including synthetic clothes), made ​​using adipic acid ; adipic acid itself is “extracted” from the hydrocarbons produced during refining. Petroleum hydrocarbons undergo a series of transformations, some of whom are concentrated nitric acid oxidation. Thus as byproducts plurality released nitrogen oxides, which can function as greenhouse gases.

Given the scale of production of nylon, you can imagine what role it plays in air pollution.

Scientists from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research have found a way to make the production of adipic acid, more environmentally friendly and at the same time easier. In the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition , they describe a method for obtaining acid from simple sugars.

However, there is a key substance no sugar, and mucic (mucic acid) . It proved to be directly converted into adipic acid: it is necessary only to cleave the water molecule and an oxygen molecule, but instead to make hydrogen. All this can be done directly in a single reactor, and the yield of adipic acid is 99 percent.

As to the most mucic acid, it is no problem: it is easy to obtain by oxidation of galactose, which can be found, for example in the food industry wastes. Conventional methods for producing adipic acid or involve several steps, each of which is a reduction of the final product yield or require rather harsh conditions, which increases the cost of the entire process and makes it extremely dangerous. Furthermore, using conventional techniques yield adipic product does not exceed 60%.

In general, the new method to be much more of adipic acid in one or two steps, requiring no superstiff conditions and does not pollute the atmosphere, it is a very good alternative. And maybe soon we will walk in the clothes of “sugar” nylon.

Adapted from A * STAR . Photo on the splash screen belongs Shutterstock .