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Research into renewable bioresources at York and elsewhere is demonstrating that by applying green chemical technologies to the transformation of typically low value and widely available biomass feedstocks, including wastes, we can build up new environmentally compatible and sustainable chemicals and materials industries for the 21st century. Current research includes the benign extraction of valuable secondary metabolites from agricultural co-products and other low value biomass, the conversion of nature's primary metabolites into speciality materials and into bioplatform molecules, as well as the green chemical transformations of those platform molecules. Key drivers for the adoption of biorefinery technologies will come from all stages in the chemical product lifecycle (reducing the use of non-renewable fossil resources, cleaner and safer chemical manufacturing, and legislative and consumer requirements for products), but also from the renewable energy industries (adding value to biofuels through the utilisation of the chemical value of by-products) and the food industries (realising the potential chemical value of wastes at all stages in the food product lifecycle).
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