Electrochemical processes for bio-based monomers and polymers (RIA)
Specific challenge: Electrical energy prices fluctuate greatly, due to the widespread adoption of renewable sources. At peak production times – on sunny summer or windy winter days, for instance – energy can become virtually free. Electrochemical processes are becoming attractive, as they can be integrated into smart grid set-ups to exploit surplus energy and convert bio-based feedstock into chemicals and materials. This, in turn, may lead to considerably less expensive production than conventional routes can offer.
Moreover, smart electrochemical processes have the ability to setting the process conditions more precisely, providing a tool to ‘custom-make’ molecules with, for example, the desired molecular weights or specific functionalities. Depending on the biomass feedstock, the processes can produce various groups of intermediate bio-based platform molecules for direct use or further processing.
The specific challenge of this topic is to exploit surplus electric energy for the inexpensive electrochemical conversion of biomass feedstock and prepare this technology for upscaling.
Identifier: BBI 2018.SO2.R7