while agricultural waste, such as corn stalks, wheat straw and husks, or even the ability to turn sewage wasteIn industrial chemical feedstock Long that can be achieved in the laboratory, full-scale commercial production has been slow to progress.
whereas bioethanol derived from corn, beet or cane, potato, sunflower, sorghum, fruit, and others biomass feedstocks The future of the industry is still uncertain due to the use of these products as food or animal feed. By focusing on the waste of wheat straw, chemical industry Ecologists and entrepreneurs are hoping to improve economics by getting free and easy access chemical raw material,
Since wheat stalks are inedible to animals, they are generally only used as livestock bedding or left in fields in an attempt to return their nutrition to the soil.
As a scientific journal, Phys.org observes, “The development of new bio-remediation technologies based on agricultural waste is seen as a key to reducing Europe’s reliance on fossil-based products. According to a white paper of the International Council on Clean Transportation, European About 144 million tonnes of wheat residue accumulates in the union every year.
Part of this development is funded by the European Union. Optisokem Project, which is making good progress in converting waste straw into Bio-Isobutene (Bio-IBN)One chemical feedstock It is a precursor to many other industrial chemical products,
The basic chemistry of the process involves converting wheat straw into hydrolyzate which is then fermented into isobutene, which can be used to make a wide range of industrial chemicals,
The enterprise leading the project is called global bioenergy, Their website outlines the value in making this method a success, stating that, “Isobutene is one of the world’s major building blocks. petrochemical industryrepresents a $25 billion market and could one day address an additional $400 billion market.” Noting that already, “1.5 million tonnes are produced each year and are used in plastics, rubber and fuels.” is changed.”
Now an important step has been taken on the road to success, as Global Bioenergy has given India the first sample of isobutene made from wheat straw. industrial chemicals Huge INEOS for inspection.
As explained by Jean-François Boideau, commercial general manager of EMEA at project partner INEOS Oligomers, in a Recent Press Releases”To date, we have received several batches of bio-isobutene From Global Bioenergy for Qualification Purpose[s]And the quality is promising.”
Adding to this, “INEOS is ready to evaluate the conversion of additional quantities during the next phase of the project” bio-isobutene downstream products to assess its potential bio based feedstock As a building block for end consumer applications. ,
Buoyed by the results, Global BioEnergy is now focusing on scaling up production to more industrial levels. As the COO of the company, Frederick Paxsays, “We expect to produce several tons of bio-isobutene on this new non-traditional feedstock for the remainder of the project.”
The project is further boosted by the announcement of a €135m investment increase from April 2019 Bio-Based Industry Public-Private Partnership (BBI JU). their goals, as listed on Partnership website Involved:
- To increase the yield of targeted bio-based product(s) by more than 20 percent as compared to state-of-the-art processes.
- To reduce the cost of production of bio-based products by 10-20% as compared to the current market conditions.
- Reducing energy consumption for biocatalytic processes by more than 30% compared to state-of-the-art production processes.
- Providing savings in terms of CO2 emissions of more than 20% per kg of product for bio-catalysts as compared to state-of-the-art production methods.
And while these numbers may seem insignificant in one chemical industry With fossil fuels dominated, the ultimate rewards are well worth both the effort and the investment.
As analyzed by Bernard ChaudoGlobal BioEnergies’ director of industrial strategy found, “If only 48 million of the 144 million tonnes of wheat straw waste produced annually in the EU are collected, it could produce 21 million tonnes of sugar which is 100 commercial tons for production.” A steady supply of can feed biorefinery plants. bio chemicals For use by various industries including biofueland substitute the equivalent of 35 million barrels of fossil fuels per year.”
In addition, it will boost rural economies, as chemical plants will be located in rural areas near farms where feedstock bringing employment to many of Europe’s poorest regions.
“It provides an additional revenue stream,” said In a recent interview with Phys.org, Chaud, “(Farmers) will sell not only grain, but also straw.”
Although the business model may seem simple, the practicality of breaking down cellulose is not easy. As previously discussed in the SPOTCHEMI articles, there have been many successes in developing enzymes that are more efficient or flexible, but cost reduction is an ongoing project, despite the low cost of raw materials.
As environmental magazine, earth islandReport “The Last Decade, National Renewable Energy Laboratory” [NREL] Reduced the cost of cellulosic ethanol from about $10 per gallon to $2.15 per gallon, primarily by bioengineering improved enzymes.
Employing cheap enzymes with cheap chemical feedstock would lead to a more profitable biochemical industry.
But while profitability is at the heart of all chemical businessRemoval of dependence on fossil fuels should also remain a goal and vision. As the BBI JU websites state, today’s bio based chemical products are, “…comparable to and/or superior to fossil-based products in terms of price, performance, availability and environmental benefits. … [And] Average CO. will reduce2 At least 50 percent emissions compared to their fossil alternatives.”