Biomass to Chemicals

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  • Biomass is a term related to any organic matter and the two most types of are wood and crops e.g. wheat, maize and rice. Another very important type of biomass is waste e.g. food waste, manure, etc.
  • Two classification for producing chemicals from biomass , they are fermentation and thermal chemical conversion.
  • In fermentation process uses micro organisms or enzymes to convert biomass into chemicals such products are ethanol and citric acid.
  • In thermo chemical process, biomass and catalysts are combinely used at applied temperature in order to convert biomass into chemicals. for example: ammonia and methane.
  • Biomass-related chemical products typically fall into three general categories: biobased acids, biobased oils, and specialty chemicals.
  • In world wide market, bio-based chemicals are expected to increase their share of overall chemical production to 9% from the current 1%.
  • Many of the current biomass-based chemicals being developed are focusing on intermediates such as succinic acid, n-butanol, acrylic acid, adipic acid, acetyls and even methyl methacrylate.
  • One of the process called  Biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, and value-added chemicals from biomass.
  • Lignocellulose (inedible plant material-lignin) is a great prospects as a potential feedstock for biorenewable chemicals.
  • The production cost of these chemicals can be reduced by 30% when petrochemical processes are replaced by biobased processes.
  • It is considered to be the most flexible method for conversion of biomass into industrial products.
  • Chemicals derived from biomass have the potential to form the foundation of a huge range of products coming from the chemicals industry.
  • The use of woody biomass to produce specific chemicals will become a more economically attractive solution.
  • A report published in June by the World Economic Forum states that potential global revenue of $10bn-15bn for bio-based  chemicals using biomass feedstock and conversion technologies by 2020.

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