Unleashing the Potential of Ethanol Derivatives



The profitability of the ethanol industry has recently declined drastically due to overproduction, drawing attention towards an urgent need for developing high-value chemical derivatives of ethanol. To achieve this, it is critical to identify the appropriate chemical targets.


In our group, we have targeted acetaldehyde synthesis from ethanol via an enzymatic route coupled with butyraldehyde reduction for efficient in-situ NADH regeneration.

Sustainable Economy

With data from the biocatalyzed synthesis, we develop computational models to investigate its economic feasibility in comparison to the commercial acetaldehyde production process which employs a silver catalyst.

Long Term

The current commercial process generates revenue from only one product, whereas the enzymatic process would generate revenue from two. Also, the techno-economic analysis may lead to the identification of crucial research areas for further inspection, ultimately support the use of biomass.


How can we talk about Kansas without mentioning one of the main agricultural products? The state of Kansas currently ranks the 5th position of overall area planted for corn, according to the USDA. Given its importance to the state economy, our efforts aim to support the development of technologies that enable alternative uses of corn-based products. In the Allgeier Group, we focus on the biocatalytic conversion of corn-ethanol to higher-value chemicals to investigate greener processes for ethanol valorization as well as their techno-economic feasibility.