Read the full post at the ACS Green Chemistry blog.
In 2004, the United States Department of Energy published a landmark report titled “Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass,” in which they highlighted a dozen molecules as the most promising framework molecules that could potentially replace commonly used petroleum-based molecular building blocks. These 12 biobased value-added chemicals would provide prospective routes for everything from biofuels to less toxic paints and adhesives, which can be seen in Figure 1. Despite the fact that these innovations took almost 13 years to garner attention and be developed on an industrial scale, these molecules now embody the promising future of the biobased economy. The following update features four biobased chemicals with recent innovations on the market: Itaconic Acid, Glucaric Acid, 3-Hydroxybutryolactone, and 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural.