'Sweet' chemicals from a 'green' raw material

Sep 19, 2012

The biobased world's traditional focus on producing fuels for cars, trucks and aircraft is quietly undergoing a major transition this summer toward production of chemicals needed for manufacture of hundreds of different consumer products, according to an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN). The cover story appears in the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Melody M. Bomgardner, C&EN senior business editor, points out that until now, petroleum has been the mainstay raw material for producing ingredients sold to companies that make medicines, detergents, plastics and other products. However, a small group of companies is making the leap this summer to using basic compounds for these products that are made from sugar, a renewable resource. The last few months have been a dynamic time for the rapidly growing sector.

Six companies have opened manufacturing plants that are already operating or will go on line soon, and three others plan to open new facilities next year. Bomgardner cites estimates that these and other firms will be making 5.5 million tons of biobased chemicals annually by 2015. Though it will take a few years for production to gain steam, Bomgardner says analysts agree that this summer is a turning point for the industry and production of chemicals from sugar.

Explore further: Team opens new frontier of vast chemical 'space', makes dozens of new chemical entities

More information: "Biobased Summer" cen.acs.org/articles/90/i38/Su… based-Chemicals.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A new genre of tires: Call 'em 'sweet' and 'green'

Dec 14, 2011

Motorists may be driving on the world's first "green" tires within the next few years, as partnerships between tire companies and biotechnology firms make it possible to produce key raw materials for tires from sugar rather ...

Book a flight on 'Air Algae?'

Jun 13, 2012

When the smell of french fries wafts through the airplane cabin, is it from that guy in 24D scarfing down a fast-food meal — or the jet engines? That question certainly could be food-for-thought for imaginative passengers, ...

Old herbicides enlisted in new 'war on the weeds'

May 23, 2012

The emergence of weeds resistant to the most widely used herbicide is fostering a new arms race in the war against these menaces, which cost society billions of dollars annually in control measures and lost agricultural production. ...

Research boom on ingredients for 'enhanced cosmetics'

May 16, 2012

Growing demand among baby boomers and others for "enhanced cosmetics" that marry cosmetics and active ingredients to smooth wrinkled skin and otherwise improve appearance is fostering research on micro-capsules and other ...

Recommended for you

Self-repairing subsea material

Dec 16, 2014

Embryonic faults in subsea high voltage installations are difficult to detect and very expensive to repair. Researchers believe that self-repairing materials could be the answer.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.