(Non-)Kolbe electrolysis in biomass valorization – a discussion of potential applications
Driven by the goal of a circular economy, the importance of renewable energies and sustainable sources of raw materials is steadily increasing. The electrochemical conversion of biomass-based compounds into liquid energy sources and basic chemicals enables the direct combination of renewable energies with sustainable carbon sources. A variety of carboxylic acids are efficiently accessible from biomass and represent important platform chemicals in a future bioeconomy. With the help of Kolbe and Non-Kolbe electrolysis, these raw materials offer great potential for electrified value chains as part of bio-refinery concepts. This contribution highlights current developments in these areas as well as the open challenges in order to gain deeper scientific insights and to develop technically viable processes. Moreover, aspects of green chemistry with regard to (Non-)Kolbe electrolysis are discussed. Last but not least, electrochemical conversions are an attractive approach to implementing modular and dynamic production plants.