Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 3, 2014
Previous Article Next Article

Green and sustainable manufacture of chemicals from biomass: state of the art

Author affiliations

Abstract

The various strategies for the valorisation of waste biomass to platform chemicals, and the underlying developments in chemical and biological catalysis which make this possible, are critically reviewed. The option involving the least changes to the status quo is the drop-in strategy of complete deoxygenation to petroleum hydrocarbons and further processing using existing technologies. The alternative, redox economic approach, is direct conversion of, for example, carbohydrates to oxygenates by fermentation or chemocatalytic processes. Examples of both approaches are described, e.g. fermentation of carbohydrates to produce hydrocarbons, lower alcohols, diols and carboxylic acids or acid catalyzed hydrolysis of hexoses to hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) and subsequent conversion to levulinic acid (LA), γ-valerolactone (GVL) and furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA). Three possible routes for producing a bio-based equivalent of the large volume polymer, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are delineated. Valorisation of waste protein could, in the future, form an important source of amino acids, such as L-glutamic acid and L-lysine, as platform chemicals, which in turn can be converted to nitrogen containing commodity chemicals. Glycerol, the coproduct of biodiesel manufacture from triglycerides, is another waste stream for which valorisation to commodity chemicals, such as epichlorohydrin and acrolein, is an attractive option.

Graphical abstract: Green and sustainable manufacture of chemicals from biomass: state of the art

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 15 Sep 2013, accepted on 26 Nov 2013 and first published on 27 Nov 2013


Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C3GC41935E
Citation: Green Chem., 2014,16, 950-963
  •   Request permissions

    Green and sustainable manufacture of chemicals from biomass: state of the art

    R. A. Sheldon, Green Chem., 2014, 16, 950
    DOI: 10.1039/C3GC41935E

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements