Sunday, 27 March 2011

Alternative feedstocks for petrochemicals

On the occasion of the NPRA's annual International Petrochemicals Conference in San Antonio, Texas, taking place as I write this in the conference hotel, ICIS editor Doris de Guzman has written a piece on progress towards bio-based feedstocks as an alternative to crude oil-derived materials.

The article appeared in a special publication ICIS produced for NPRA and delegates to the meeting.

Half a dozen US-based companies are well on the way to producing ethylene, propylene, butanediol and even adipic and acrylic acid from bio-materials, all of which can be used as inputs for downstream green chemicals. Doris reviews progress at these innovative companies in the article, and points to who is now moving to demonstration stage and beyond.

Says Doris: "The petrochemical sector will soon have an array of renewable raw materials to choose from, as companies gear up to commercialization through partnerships. Biobased chemicals activities are at fever pitch this year, as several start-up companies step up their efforts towards commercialization phase."

In the biobased intermediates, products such as acrylic acid, adipic acid, 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and succinic acid are among those that are considered frontrunners in advancing product and process development.

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