Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



This project proposes a plant in which niacinamide can be produced with an environmentally green process. Specifically, it takes 2-methyl-1,5-pentanediamine (MPDA) as a starting reactant and converts it to picoline before subsequently converting it to niacinamide and purifying the final product. By following this particular reaction path, the process avoids the more classic method of preparation by which nicotine is oxidized with potassium dichromate, a reaction with considerably more toxic reactants and waste. Along with this more sustainable reaction path, care was taken to ensure the process was as green as possible at each step along the way.

The primary global supplier of niacin is Lonza, whose patent provided the base upon which this process was developed. Only preliminary data was furnished by the patent; the majority of the process presented within this portfolio was developed with limited information from the patent reference.

The base-case process presented in this project consists of three main sections; Block 100 involves the conversion of MPDA into picoline, Block 200 involves the formation of niacinamide from picoline, and Block 300 involves the separation and purification of the niacinamide into the final marketable product. A final purity of 97.7% by weight was achieved. Rigorous economic analysis was performed on the entirety of the process, yielding an NPV of $4,932,800 after 20 years and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 16.82% after the third year. Although each of these indicate a positive return on investment, as the economic success of this process is highly subject to the market value of both the feedstock MPDA and product niacinamide, further investigation may be necessary before final project approval.



Date Posted: 25 July 2014