University of Delaware OEIP
University of Delaware

Green adipic acid production

Technology #ud17-47

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Bingjun Xu
The overarching goal of research of Xu lab is to develop efficient heterogeneous catalytic and electrocatalytic processes for energy conversion and storage applications by achieving molecular level understanding of surface mediated thermo- and electro-catalytic reactions
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Johnson Will
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Provisional Patent Application Filed


 A novel, green, method for production of Adipic Acid.


Adipic Acid is an important precursor in the production of Nylon. Current Adipic Acid production consists of sequential hydrogenation of benzene which can give yields lower than desirable, and may lead to undesirable contaminants. However, with the current boom in clean energy and green technology, green production of Adipic Acid has gained increasing importance. Researchers at the University of Delaware have developed an alternative method of Adipic Acid production without the use of standard metal catalyst.


  • High yield of 90%
  • Biomass derived feedstock
  • Inexpensive reusable processing components
  • Potentially fewer undesirable by-products


A green,  Adipic Acid production process has been developed that uses no precious metal catalysts. The method allows the use of biomass derived precursors, and proceeds via selective ring opening, following hydrogenolysis.   This method results in a higher yield and fewer undesirable by-products.


This technology is currently being optimized and is ready for pilot-scale testing that would lead to full commercialization.