METHANESULFONIC ACID (MSA)
Grillo has developed a new, direct and sustainable process to produce methanesulfonic acid (MSA, CH3SO3H). From a scientific point of view, this process is a breakthrough in the field of methane functionalization (CH4). In 2019, BASF acquired the respective IP and know-how to accelerate its implementation on an industrial scale.
Ludwigshafen, July 2019
The companies have signed contracts on IP and know-how transfer. BASF will utilize the acquired IP and know-how within its own R&D activities on MSA.
Selection of press reports in connection with the IP-sale:
DER SPIEGEL, Lokalausgabe NRW, June 2019
Germany’s leading news magazine DER SPIEGEL showcases Grillo‘s direct process to MSA as a perfect example of sustainable chemistry (page 10). In a supplement focusing on the largest German state North Rhine-Westphalia („Starkes Land Nordrhein-Westfalen“), the journalists highlight MSA’s biodegradability, the use of natural gas and biogas as feedstock, as well as the potential of methanation, the conversion of CO2 to methane.
A comprehensive report in the same edition covers a collaboration between Grillo and Aurubis named „Closing the Loop“ (page 11). The integrated production is listed as a perfect example of circular economy. Special focus is given to our innovative process to remove bromides – originating from the use of flame retardants – from electronic waste streams.
and Grillo’s sustainable route to MSA
Association of the Chemical Industry e. V. in North Rine-Westphalia (VCI NRW), April 2019
VCI NRW and its associated chemical companies support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The association has planned several activities in connection with sustainability for spring 2019, e. g., an exhibition in the parliament building and a networking evening; Grillo is represented with two highly-innovative projects.
Science Magazine, March 2019
Scientific article on Grillo methane sulfonation with details on the cationic chain mechanism initiated by a low concentration of added sulfonyl peroxide and propagated by CH3+ under superacidic conditions. Furthermore, the broader perspective (“Making more from methane”) by Fredi Schüth from the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mühlheim.
C&EN & others, March 2019
Various news outlets reported about the paper published in the Science Magazine.
Journal of Greener Production, November 2018
Professor Seeger and his team at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) have done a comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) of the conventional process for the industrial production of MSA with the new and direct process developed by Grillo.
Knauer News, September 2018
High-pressure metering pumps produced by the Berlin-based manufacturer of laboratory measuring instruments Knauer Wissenschaftliche Geräte GmbH have played an important role in the development of the groundbreaking new manufacturing process allowing the production of methanesulfonic acid (MSA) directly from methane and sulfur trioxide.
International Symposium on Homogeneous Catalysis (ISHC), July 2018
The International Symposium on Homogeneous Catalysis (ISHC) takes place every two years and is one of the most important scientific conferences on homogeneous catalysis.
Poster by N. Bloch et al. “From Lab to Pilot: Upscaling of a Homogeneous Methanesulfonation-Process“
KPMG Chemicals Roundtable, June 2018
At first glance, world-class research and a medium-sized basic chemicals company do not seem to go together. In a presentation we had the opportunity to explain the reasons why it was no coincidence that a team from Grillo has been able to produce methanesulfonic acid from methane (CH4) and sulfur trioxide (SO3).
European Biogas Conference, January 2018
The European Biogas Conference is the annual gathering of the members of the European Biogas Association (EBA). Over two days the participants have the opportunity to discuss current sector-related topics in lectures and workshops. In 2018, the focus also laid on the industrial use of biogas.Presentation by our research director Dr. Ingo Biertümpel at the European Biogas Conference in Antwerp with the emphasis on the fundamental issue „Bio-Methane as a chemical building block?“
Poster by C. Díaz-Urrutia et al. entitled “Upgrade of Methane to Value-Added Products: Industrial Synthesis of Methanesulfonic Acid“
Magazine bild der Wissenschaft, November 2017
Natural gas can be incredibly multifunctional: reaching for the Holy Grail
For the first time, methane was converted into a liquid resource by using a simple process suitable for industrial use. Chemists had long been looking for this key to many new applications.
Review article by Roy A. Periana et al., August 2017
Chemical Review (ACS). One of the remaining “grand challenges” in chemistry is the development of a next generation, less expensive, cleaner process that can allow the vast reserves of methane from natural gas to augment or replace oil as the source of fuels and chemicals. […] One approach [… ] could be to focus on higher value, smaller volume products. Recently just such a possibility was announced by the German firm Grillo. They reported a new process for the synthesis of methanesulfonic acid (MSA) from reaction of CH4 with SO3. Since this is a much higher value added product compared to methanol, it is possible that the challenges (discussed above) can be economically addressed.”
Reprinted (adapted) with permission from Niles Jensen Gunsalus, Anjaneyulu Koppaka, Sae Hume Park, Steven M. Bischof, Brian G. Hashiguchi, Roy A. Periana, Chem. Rev. 2017, 117, 8521-8573. Copyright (2017) American Chemical Society
Selection of press reports, summer of 2016
Press release, June 2016
The functionalization of methane to a high-value chemical has been achieved by Germany’s chemical company Grillo after years of intensive research. The new process leads to high-purity methanesulfonic acid (MSA) by the direct sulfonation of methane with sulfur trioxide. Start of large-scale production is planned for 2019.