Multi-objective Bayesian optimisation of a two-step synthesis of p-cymene from crude sulphate turpentine


Production of functional molecules from renewable bio-feedstocks and bio-waste has the potential to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. However, the development of such processes commonly requires invention and scale-up of highly selective and robust chemistry for complex reaction networks in bio-waste mixtures. We demonstrate an approach to optimising a chemical route for multiple objectives starting from a mixture derived from bio-waste. We optimise the recently developed route from a mixture of waste terpenes to p-cymene. In the first reaction step it was not feasible to build a detailed kinetic model. A Bayesian multiple objectives optimisation algorithm TS-EMO was used to optimise the first two steps of reaction for maximum conversion and selectivity. The model suggests a set of very different conditions that result in simultaneous high values of the two outputs.

Chemical Engineering Science, 247