Formic and acetic acids obtaining from ethane fraction.

Formic and acetic acid is a widely used commercial product and crude product for obtaining different substances. Total amount of these acids manufactured in the world makes millions of tons a year. Formic acid is the scarcest and the most expensive of them, the demand for it increases every year.
There are different methods of formic and acetic acids obtaining, in particular, by oxidation of the butane, light hydrocarbons C5-C7, alcohols, aldehydes by the oxosynthesis reaction, formic acid obtaining by the formamide, metylformamide hydrolysis, by the CO hydration at the presence of the alkali, by dehydrogenation of the methanol and etc. Each of the mentioned methods has its advantages and disadvantages. Of all the existing methods the butane and light hydrocarbon fractions oxidation are the most accessible methods. Cheap crude products, saturated aliphatics are used in these methods. However, these methods have considerable disadvantages which limit tryingly increases the selectivity of the carbon acids formation and decreases the amount of the by-products.
That is why we offer to obtain the formic and acetic acids from the components of the evolved petroleum gases, especially from the ethane fraction, the hydrocarbone fraction containing the ethane with the methane and propane additives. The cost of such crude products is less than the cost of the butane and the hydrocarbone fraction C5-C7 and at its oxidation the selectivity of these carbon acids formation increases, especially the formic acid. Besides, the method of obtaining the formic and acetic acids by oxidation of the ethane fraction makes it possible to obtain more formic acid than acetic acid.
It should be noted that in spite of the cheapness and accessibility of the ethane fraction it is not used as crude product for obtaining the formic and acetic acids. It is connected with the fact that the ethane is oxidized at higher temperature than the butane of higher hydrocarbons and in the ethane oxidation the carbon acids themselves decompose and oxidize. That is why the formic and acetic acids are not obtained at the usual method of the ethane fraction oxidation.
We offer a new method of the hydrocarbons oxidation which greatly differs from the existing methods. This method consists in by-stage oxidatation of the hydrocarbons with different technological conditions at each stage. A new technological circuit of the formic and acetic acids obtaining from the ethane fraction has been developed, this circuit consists of a reaction unit and purification stage and the carbon acids separation.
This method has not been patented. At present it is at the stage of mastering. That is why we are looking for an interested firm to put this method into production.