Sustainable R&D for new Technology in Start Ups | AIChE

Sustainable R&D for new Technology in Start Ups


Conference Presentation

Conference Type

Southwest Process Technology Conference

Presentation Date

October 10, 2014


30 minutes

Skill Level




Often Start Ups develop technology for building block chemicals from renewables. DOE has a list of 12 such building blocks, such as glucaric acid, four carbon 1,4-diacids, etc. Start Ups such as Rivertop, Rennovia, and BioAmber have done those building blocks, but others such as Amyris have looked at another one. These building blocks have many potential derivatives that are either commodity and/or specialty chemicals. 

The approach of these innovative firms varies. Discovery can be from high throughput screening, traditional ones like a few scientists working day and night to discover and screen, or even buying the discovery from academia. Bio molecular or chemical catalysis can be used. Once identified, type of scale up can vary in size and optimization, then piloting and demonstration can take somewhat different routes. Techno-economics plays a role with different timing and intensity. A new exciting transformational technology by Siluria is the biomaterial templating to make nanowires for catalysts that via high throughput screening are showing conversion to ethylene and C2+ hydrocarbons.


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