Bio-refinery as the bio-inspired process to bulk chemicals

J.P.M. Sanders, E.L. Scott, R.A. Weusthuis, H. Mooibroek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

219 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes several examples of knowledge-intensive technologies for the production of chemicals from biomass, which take advantage of the biomass structure in a more efficient way than the production of fuels or electricity alone. The depletion in fossil feedstocks, increasing oil prices, and the ecological problems associated with CO2 emissions are forcing the development of alternative resources for energy, transport fuels, and chemicals, such as the replacement of fossil resources with CO2 neutral biomass. Allied with this is the conversion of crude oil products utilizes primary products (ethylene, etc.) and their conversion into either materials or (functional) chemicals with the aid of co-reagents such as ammonia, by various process steps to introduce functionalities such as -NH2 into the simple structures of the primary products. Conversely, many products found in biomass often contain functionalities. Therefore, it is attractive to exploit this in order to by-pass the use, and preparation of, co-reagents as well as to eliminate various process steps by utilizing suitable biomass-based precursors for the production of chemicals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-117
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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