AIChE Journal Highlight: Renewable Biomass-Derived Precursors for the Polymer and Materials Industries


Biomass is an abundant source of renewable carbon that can produce functionalized oxygenated chemicals, which can be used as feedstocks to create high-performance polymers, surfactants, polymer additives, and other materials.

In the June 2018 AIChE Journal Perspective article, George W. Huber (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) and coworkers discuss the conversion of biomass-derived platform molecules, including levoglucosenone, hydroxymethylfurfural, and furfural, to renewable oxygenated chemicals. Most of these renewable chemicals are currently too expensive for wide-scale industrial use, primarily because they are produced on a very small scale, often in batch reactors. However, rigorous techno-economic models indicate the production price of these chemicals can be between $1,000 and $4,000 per ton when produced at moderate scales (10–30 kton/yr).

These oxygenated products give the materials industry the opportunity to create new functionality in their products using sustainable resources. The Perspective article highlights examples in which biomass-derived diols and diacids are finding applications as polyesters and in other materials.

During the past decade, multiple...

Would you like to access the complete CEP Article?

No problem. You just have to complete the following steps.

You have completed 0 of 2 steps.

  1. Log in

    You must be logged in to view this content. Log in now.

  2. AIChE Membership

    You must be an AIChE member to view this article. Join now.

Copyright Permissions: 

Would you like to reuse content from CEP Magazine? It’s easy to request permission to reuse content. Simply click here to connect instantly to licensing services, where you can choose from a list of options regarding how you would like to reuse the desired content and complete the transaction.