Direct amination of benzene promises to reduce the carbon footprint of the production of aniline compared with present production methods. But it would still be based on oil.
(see the November-issue of our journal).
5 million tons of it is being produced worldwide; one fifth of it by Covestro. So it is worth paying attention when a big player like that claims to have developed a way to produce the stuff from sugar. In the words of the press release “The newly developed process uses a microorganism as a catalyst to first convert the industrial sugar into a precursor. The aniline is then derived by means of chemical catalysis in a second step.” Details such as what that ‘precursor’ might look like and what kind of a catalyst are kept confidential, so far.