Minnesota research team develops catalyst for renewable acrylic acid

January 9, 2023 |

In Minnesota, university researchers have developed a catalyst that significantly reduces the cost of producing renewable acrylic acid and acrylates, which are used globally in paints, coatings, and superabsorbent polymers.

Låkril Technologies, a startup working to manufacture low-cost renewable acrylic acid and acrylates, has already licensed the catalyst technology from its developers at University of Minnesota and raised $1.4 million in pre-seed financing to scale the process. The Iowa Corn Growers Association led the financing with participation from the Kentucky Corn Growers Association along with grants from the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Corn Marketing Council of Michigan, along with Small Business Innovation Research awards from both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Paul Dauenhauer, professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, says in a statement that the catalyst achieves the highest acrylic acid yield from lactic acid to date.  “We benchmarked the performance of our new catalyst to all prior catalysts, and the performance far exceeds previous examples,” he adds.

The catalyst is discussed in more detail in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society Gold.

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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