HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.
Deepak Sharma, Speaker at Catalysis Conferences
Bayer U.S. , United States
Title : Process and adsorbent for separating ethanol and associated oxygenates from a biofermentation system


The principles of process intensification if used on existing processes can lead to development and redesign of existing processes to become more sustainable. This presentation will discuss a process and an adsorbent for the separation of ethanol associated oxygenates from a dilute mixture of ethanol and associated oxygenates in water in the presence of organic compounds derived from a biofermentation process. After pretreatment, the separation is carried out in a simulated moving bed adsorption system employing a stationary phase adsorbent comprising fluorinated carbon or modified C18 silica gel selective for the adsorption of ethanol and associated oxygenates, such as 2,3-butanediol, with a mobile phase desorbent selected from the group consisting of methanol, ethanol, propanol, and methyl tertiary butyl ether. The process is useful for removing water from dilute aqueous mixtures of organic compounds comprising ethanol in dilute concentration in water and produced by fermentation, biomass extraction, biocatalytic, and enzymatic processes which are not economically recoverable by conventional distillation methods.

Audience take-away:

  • The audience will learn about ways to achieve process intensification in the industry using simulated moving bed technology (SMB).
  • SMB is replacing traditional distillation unit operation in this particular invention outlined.
  • This technology outlines an excellent way to capture CO2 by capturing flue gas from power plant exhaust and converting it to ethanol or butanediol. The ethanol and butanediol from the dilute fermentation broth can only be extracted using the unique SMB setup since the traditional distillation rout for ethanol/BDO extraction would not be economical.


Deepak Sharma is an experienced Senior Process Engineer presently working with Bayer in their Engineering and Technology division at their corporate office in St. Louis. Deepak is currently pursuing PMBA from Washington University in St. Louis before which he received his master’s degree in chemical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago USA and bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala, India. Deepak has about 14 years of work experience in the chemical industry in which he has demonstrated strong skills in process design, scale-up, manufacturing, optimization, purification, research and development and start-up. Deepak has conducted research on simulated moving bed technology to develop processes for the purification of sugars, active pharmaceutical ingredients, bio-fuels, fish oil etc. His research contributions have been recognized through granted process patents: US8704016B2; US20140179933A1; US8658845B2; US8802843B2. The processes developed in these patents have been commercialized and installed in New Zealand, Scotland, Italy, and USA. He has experience of successfully taking a process from lab scale to the manufacturing scale and supporting its operation thereafter. Deepak has worked on various projects including grass-root projects, expansion projects, and managed several Capital investment projects in the chemical industry.