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Sironix Renewables builds university partnership funded through RAPID Manufacturing Institute

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Sironix Renewables has been awarded a DOE (U.S. Department of Energy) grant through the AIChE RAPID Manufacturing institute (American Institute for Chemical Engineers, Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment) to develop and scale the Eosix™ Surfactant technology. The $1.3M partnership project includes collaborating researchers from the Universities of Minnesota and Delaware.

Through this project, Sironix will develop a simplified process for making a wide range of surfactant molecules, using catalytic reactive distillation for improved product yields, lower separation costs, and improve energy efficiency. The Eosix™ Surfactant, which is made from 100% bio-renewable carbon, offers hundredfold improved hard water function compared with conventional surfactants, making it an excellent choice for cleaning products such as laundry detergents.

“The RAPID grant partnership provide Sironix with the funding and technical resources to develop an entirely new process for producing surfactants,” said Christoph Krumm, the co-founder and CEO of Sironix Renewables. “The knowledge base available from the RAPID institute combined with renewable bio-products expertise from our university collaborators provides the perfect combination of resources to improve manufacturing of our bio-renewable technology.”

The three-year grant partnership includes a collaborative effort between Sironix and two universities from the DOE-funded Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, a research center dedicated to developing renewable bioproducts. The University of Minnesota group, led by Professor Paul Dauenhauer from the Chemical Engineering & Materials Science department, will focus on catalysis and reaction engineering to support the project. The University of Delaware collaborators, led by Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike, the dean of engineering, will use reactive distillation computer models for optimization and will perform techno-economic analysis for the overall project. Informed by reaction optimization and process modeling, Sironix will demonstrate the first pilot-scale reactive distillation system of its kind to produce renewable surfactants.

This project is sponsored by the U.S. DOE through the AIChE RAPID Manufacturing Institute (Award number DE-EE0007888-7.7). The Eosix™ Surfactant was initially developed by the U.S. DOE Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation https://www.efrc.udel.edu, an Energy Frontiers Research Center that includes the University of Minnesota and the University of Delaware. Development of the technology at Sironix was funded by the U.S. DOE SBIR (Small Business Innovation in Research) program. For more information about the AIChE RAPID institute, visit https://www.aiche.org/rapid. For more information about the award, visit https://www.aiche.org/rapid/about/press/releases/11-02-2017/rapid-institute-announces-first-project-selections.