Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 4, 2013
Previous Article Next Article

Green chemistry and the ocean-based biorefinery

Author affiliations


Research into renewable chemicals, fuels and materials sourced from the oceans at Memorial University and elsewhere is employing green chemical technologies for the transformation of algae and food industry waste streams into useful products. A very small proportion of biomass utilization research is currently focused on these feedstocks and efforts focused in this area could reduce land space competition between food and chemical/fuel production. This perspective highlights some of the achievements and potential opportunities surrounding the use of algae and waste from shellfish and finfish processing. In particular, investigations in this field have used alternative solvents (water, supercritical carbon dioxide and methanol or ionic liquids) extensively. Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) has been used to extract lipids and pigments from algae, and oils from fish-processing plant waste streams. Water can be used to isolate potentially high value biologically-active oligosaccharides from some seaweeds. Biotechnological approaches are showing promise in the separation of biopolymers from shellfish waste streams. Production of new nitrogen-containing bioplatform chemicals (e.g. 3-acetamido-5-acetylfuran) from aminocarbohydrates (chitin, chitosan and N-acetylglucosamine) is being pursued.

Graphical abstract: Green chemistry and the ocean-based biorefinery

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 09 Dec 2012, accepted on 25 Feb 2013 and first published on 12 Mar 2013

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C3GC36994C
Green Chem., 2013,15, 860-871

  •   Request permissions

    Green chemistry and the ocean-based biorefinery

    F. M. Kerton, Y. Liu, K. W. Omari and K. Hawboldt, Green Chem., 2013, 15, 860
    DOI: 10.1039/C3GC36994C

Search articles by author