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Top Value Added Chemicals From Biomass: I. Results of Screening for Potential Candidates from Sugars and Synthesis Gas

Description: This report identifies twelve building block chemicals that can be produced from sugars via biological or chemical conversions. The twelve building blocks can be subsequently converted to a number of high-value bio-based chemicals or materials. Building block chemicals, as considered for this analysis, are molecules with multiple functional groups that possess the potential to be transformed into new families of useful molecules. The twelve sugar-based building blocks are 1,4-diacids (succinic, fumaric and malic), 2,5-furan dicarboxylic acid, 3-hydroxy propionic acid, aspartic acid, glucaric acid, glutamic acid, itaconic acid, levulinic acid, 3-hydroxybutyrolactone, glycerol, sorbitol, and xylitol/arabinitol. In addition to building blocks, the report outlines the central technical barriers that are preventing the widespread use of biomass for products and chemicals.
Date: November 1, 2004
Creator: Werpy, Todd A.; Holladay, John E. & White, James F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Top Value-Added Chemicals from Biomass - Volume II—Results of Screening for Potential Candidates from Biorefinery Lignin

Description: This report evaluates lignin’s role as a renewable raw material resource. Opportunities that arise from utilizing lignin fit into one of three categories: 1)power, fuel and syngas (generally near-term opportunities) 2) macromolecules (generally medium-term opportunities) 3) aromatics and miscellaneous monomers (long-term opportunities). Biorefineries will receive and process massive amounts of lignin. For this reason, how lignin can be best used to support the economic health of the biorefinery must be defined. An approach that only considers process heat would be shortsighted. Higher value products present economic opportunities and the potential to significantly increase the amount of liquid transportation fuel available from biomass. In this analysis a list of potential uses of lignin was compiled and sorted into “product types” which are broad classifications (listed above as power—fuel—syngas; macromolecules; and aromatics). In the first “product type” (power—fuel—gasification) lignin is used purely as a carbon source and aggressive means are employed to break down its polymeric structure. In the second “product type” (macromolecules) the opposite extreme is considered and advantage of the macromolecular structure imparted by nature is retained in high-molecular weight applications. The third “product type” (aromatics) lies somewhere between the two extremes and employs technologies that would break up lignin’s macromolecular structure but maintain the aromatic nature of the building block molecules. The individual opportunities were evaluated based on their technical difficulty, market, market risk, building block utility, and whether a pure material or a mixture would be produced. Unlike the “Sugars Top 10” report it was difficult to identify the ten best opportunities, however, the potential opportunities fell nicely into near-, medium- and long-term opportunities. Furthermore, the near-, medium- and long-term opportunities roughly align with the three “product types.” From this analysis a list of technical barriers was developed which can be used to identify research needs. Lignin presents ...
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: Holladay, John E.; White, James F.; Bozell, Joseph J. & Johnson, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department