Develop technologies and systems to produce bio-based aromatics that outperform fossil-based counterparts (RIA)
Specific challenge: Aromatic building blocks make up a significant share of today’s building blocks for a wide array of day-to-day products and applications, including nylons, polystyrene, resins and polycarbonates.
Current production routes from fossil-based feedstock are energy-intensive and have a significant environmental footprint.
Moreover, the gradual introduction of shale gas and other light feedstocks in oil refining and cracking operations is resulting in significant production cuts to building blocks heavier than ethylene.
Until now, production costs have been the prime obstacle to bio-based aromatics penetrating the market. The maturity of the petrochemical industry makes purely cost-based competition unrealistic for most bio-based aromatics, especially benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene. However, better performance at an acceptable premium price would increase the marketability of bio-based aromatics for mass consumption.
Composition complexity and other characteristics of various biomass feedstock hinder the exploitation of their enormous potential to produce aromatic compounds that could outperform petrochemical alternatives.
The specific challenge of this topic is to increase the process yields of aromatics from sustainable biomass sources able to outperform fossil-based counterparts.
Identifier: BBI 2018.SO3.R11