Synthesis of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid from biomass for producing PET
There have been considerable efforts to produce renewable polymers from biomass. Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) is one of the most versatile bulk materials used in our daily lives. Recent advances in the new catalytic process for conversion of biomass have allowed us to design more technically effective and cheaper methods for the synthesis of green PET monomers. This review analyses recent advances in the synthesis of PET monomers from biomass. Different routes for ethylene glycol (EG) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) synthesis are systematically summarized. The advantages and drawbacks of each route are discussed in terms of feedstock, reaction pathway, catalyst, economic evaluation and technology status, trying to provide some state-of-the-art information on green PET monomer synthesis. Finally, an outlook is presented to highlight the challenges, opportunities and on-going trends, which may serve as guidelines for designing novel synthetic routes to green polymers from fundamental science to practical use.