Atom economy, expanding boundaries to incorporate upstream reactions

Paul Blowers, Hong Zhao, Paul Case, James Swan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


One of the overall shortcomings of atom economy and the limited scope of the boundaries chosen were presented. The overall atom economy of two reaction schemes (i.e., the Shell process and Degussa process) for synthesizing 1,3-propanediol was calculated. From a traditional point of view, each process has an atom economy of 100% since all steps of the two reactions are addition reactions. However, since both reactions have different starting materials, it cannot be assumed that the entire reaction schemes for both methods have the same atom economies. To determine which method is truly superior by atom economy standards, each process must be taken to their elementary starting materials. In both cases, this turns out to be water, methane, and propane. Acrolein and H2 have been produced as the reactants for the 1,3-propanediol production from ethane, water, oxygen, and propane. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the AIChE Annual Meeting (Austin, TX 11/7-12/2004).

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2004
Event2004 AIChE Annual Meeting - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Nov 7 2004Nov 12 2004


Other2004 AIChE Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Energy


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