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Biofuels 2008 and Impact on Chemicals

Published December 2008

Report Abstract

Two false statements sum up biofuels best. But while they are about as false concerning biofuels as any statement could be, they are the way too many people, particularly in the political and similar arenas, have felt about biofuels.
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Biochemical Cellulosic Ethanol

Published December 2008

Report Abstract

World ethanol production is undergoing spectacular growth, which has led to price increases for certain agricultural commodities such as corn.
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Biobutanol

Published December 2008

Report Abstract

World production of biofuels has experienced phenomenal growth. Various drivers for this phenomenon include high fuel prices, concerns about the environment, energy security and rural development.
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Polymers from Biomass

Robert Davenport
Published February 2008

Report Abstract

Increasingly, biomass is being utilized as a source of organic compounds—including polymers and their intermediate monomers and comonomers.
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Biodiesel

Published September 2008

Report Abstract

Biodiesel, defined as the methyl ester of natural fatty acids produced via transesterification of fats and oils, is made mainly from renewable biological resources (vegetable or animal fats and oils) and is therefore an ecologically friendly alternative to petroleum-based diesel. Biodiesel fuel is adapted to the diesel engine and may be used in standard diesel engines. Because of its excellent solvent properties, however, fuel hoses, pipes and seals must be made resistant to biodiesel, if it is used in its pure form.
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Raw Materials for Biofuels

Published December 2006

Report Abstract

Biofuels have become one of the hottest topics of this decade. Threats of diminishing petroleum production, global warming concerns and energy security have prompted an explosion of new capacity for biofuels.
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Ethyl Alcohol

Published February 2008

Report Abstract

Supplies of ethanol have increased tremendously in the last few years, mainly for use as a source of renewable fuel. Use in many countries is expected to continue to rise at a rapid rate. Ethanol is usually made by the fermentation of a carbohydrate (starch, sugar or cellulose) to the alcohol, followed by distillation and other processing to make it suitable for use as fuel, solvent, chemical feedstock or for alcoholic beverage consumption.
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Chemicals from Biomass

Published November 2007

Report Abstract

This report identifies the chemicals that are produced from biomass today and compares them with those that are prepared from fossil feedstocks. Furthermore, the report examines how this source of chemicals may grow in the future. Areas where competition now or in the future is likely to occur are pointed out.
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Advanced Biorefineries

Published October 2005

Report Abstract

The term “biorefinery” has been coined to describe future processing complexes that will use renewable agricultural residues, plant-based starch and lignocellulosic materials as feedstocks to produce a wide range of chemicals, fuels and bio-based materials. Predecessors to the new complexes, which can be considered first generation biorefineries, include existing pulp and paper manufacturing plants, corn wet and dry mills, soy processing facilities, and sugar-ethanol mills. Advanced biorefineries are envisioned to serve as the foundation of a new bioindustry.
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Advances in Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Production

Published December 2007

Report Abstract

The use of a renewable fuel such as vegetable oil in Rudolf Diesel’s compression ignition engine dates back to 1900. These renewable fuels were replaced by the availability of cheap petroleum-based fuels in the 20th century. There has been resurgence in the 21st century in the use of renewable fuels for diesel engines.
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Biobased C3s

Published November 2006

Report Abstract

The rapid increases in the prices for petroleum and petroleum-based products as well as concern over sustainable feedstock sources prompted the Department of Energy (DOE) to perform an exhaustive survey of potential bio-based feedstock sources. In 2004 the Department of Energy (DOE) identified 12 platform chemicals that are biologically based and can be used to replace petroleum-based feedstocks. One of the compounds identified is 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP).
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Bio-Based Polyols

Published October 2007

Report Abstract

Polyols are polymer products with an extended carbon chain and multiple reactive functional groups. Many vegetable-based oils have structures that lend themselves well as a base for these products, leading to the production of bio-based polyols. Naturally occurring variations in composition can be dealt with using a variety of process strategies.
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Biobutanol

Report Abstract

Today’s high oil prices are providing an incentive to develop biofuels in North America. Driven by tax breaks and the 2005 Energy Policy Act, ethanol production has grown significantly in the United States. But other biofuels may be a better alternative than ethanol.
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Biodegradable Polymer Life Cycle Assessment

Published December 2001

Report Abstract

SRI's Process Economics Program (PEP) was commissioned by its clients in 2000 to undertake a life cycle assessment (LCA) for the purpose of comparing a biodegradable polymer with a conventional commodity polymer in packaging applications. Biodegradable polymers offer the potential of addressing a range of environmental concerns associated with conventional polymers such as greenhouse gas emissions and sustainability. LCA is a tool specifically developed for assessing the overall environmental burden of a product and the system employed for manufacturing it.
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Biodegradable Polymers from Plants

Published August 2003

Report Abstract

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biodegradable polyesters produced by numerous microorganisms as intracellular energy reserves. The metabolic pathway from these microorganisms can be bioengineered into a variety of plants for making PHAs. While this new scheme for producing biodegradable polymers is not yet commercial, it may have the potential for large scale manufacture at very low cost.
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Biodiesel Production

Report Abstract

Biodiesel is an ester of fatty acids produced from renewable resources such as virgin vegetable oil, animal fats and used cooking oil. It can be used as the sole fuel source (B100) in compression ignition (diesel) engines as a replacement for petroleum-based diesel or blended at levels of 2-20% (B2-B20) with minimal engine modifications. Consumption of biodiesel in Europe has reached almost 2.
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Biomass Gasification

Report Abstract

Biomass is poised to provide a significant renewable source of energy and materials. Biomass in the form of forestry and agricultural residues is the oldest energy source used by mankind but was replaced by fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum. Today biomass is responsible for 11% of the energy needs globally but only 3% in the developed countries.
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Chemicals from Agricultural Wastes

Report Abstract

Petrochemical hydrocarbon sources are finite and many experts suggest that they will become exhausted within decades. In addition, both natural gas and crude oil have recently experienced an upward shift in pricing trends. The use of bio-based sources such as plant/crop wastes provides inputs that are renewable and creates the opportunity for a transition to a more sustainable economy.
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Chemicals from Ethanol

Published November 2007

Report Abstract

Technologies for producing chemicals from ethanol are well known and have been employed commercially for several decades. Ethylene production by ethanol dehydration, for example, was widely used in the United States and Western Europe during the first half of the 20 th century, and in Brazil and India during the 1950s and 1960s. Thereafter, the steam cracking process, which employs petroleum fractions and natural gas liquids as feedstocks, emerged as the dominant method for large-scale ethylene production worldwide.
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Chemicals from Renewable Sources

Published March 2001

Report Abstract

Driven by environmental concerns and the concept of sustainability, the chemical industry has seriously begun exploring bio-based or renewable feedstocks for producing chemicals. This transition to renewable feedstocks is impossible, however, without the development of the appropriate technology and infrastructure. Some of the technology developments which are needed and are currently underway include knowledge of biochemical and fermentation fundamentals and related progress in process technology and agricultural economics.
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Methanol from Coal

Published December 2006

Report Abstract

It seems probable that coal will regain its importance as a source of energy and chemicals in light of dwindling petroleum resources and rising prices of natural gas and oil (particularly in China and the eventually in the U.S). Coal’s exploitable resources have a potential to quench mankind's thirst for energy (and chemicals) at the current rate five times longer than gas resources. Proven recoverable coal reserves of about 990 billion metric tons offer a tremendous source of energy and chemicals for North America, Russia, China, Australia, India, Germany, and South Africa, each with more than 50 billion metric tons of coal reserves.
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Ethanol from Bagasse

Report Abstract

Ethanol's biggest problem as a fuel is its high cost. The U.S. wholesale price in 2002 was around $1.10 per gallon.
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Ethanol from Corn Stover

Report Abstract

Ethanol's biggest problem as a fuel is its high cost. The U.S. wholesale price in 2002 was around $1.10 per gallon.
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Ethanol from Straw

Report Abstract

Today's high oil prices are providing an incentive to use ethanol as fuel in North America. In addition, tax breaks provide a stimulus for using ethanol in fuel blends. Fuel ethanol makes no contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, and since ethanol contains a high level of oxygen, it reduces smog.
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Ethanol Production in Brazil

Published October 2006

Report Abstract

World ethanol production is undergoing spectacular growth. Brazil, the world’s leading fuel ethanol producer until 2005, is continuing to expand production. Domestic consumption of the renewable fuel continues to rise and important export markets are being developed in Asia, Europe and North America.
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Feedstock Price Issues for Bio-Derived Materials

Report Abstract

With the tremendous growth of bio-derived materials such as biofuels and biopolymers, feedstock price issues have developed. While renewable feedstocks are renewed every year, their supply is not unlimited. Rising feedstock costs have had an effect on margins for bio-derived materials and also limited their ability to compete with fossil-based materials, even in an environment of rising oil prices.
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Propylene Glycol from Glycerin

Published December 2007

Report Abstract

A variety of economic, environmental and technical factors have encouraged industry attention on producing industrial chemicals from bio-feedstocks, rather than from crude oil derivatives. One such example is producing propylene glycol (PG) from glycerine (GLY), rather than the conventional routes starting with propylene monomer. Propylene glycol has historically been produced in commercial quantities either via the chlorohydrin process or by peroxidation, both using propylene monomer as the starting material.
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Chemical Inputs and By-Products of Biofuels

Published May 2007

Report Abstract

Chemical Inputs and By-Products of Biofuels This report examines the impact of the biofuel industry on the chemical industry. Just as the modern chemical industry, especially petrochemicals, evolved from the growing need for petroleum-derived fuels during the last century, in this century the chemical industry will be affected by the growing production of biofuels.
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Fats and Oils Industry Overview

Published October 2005

Report Abstract

China, Malaysia, the United States, the European Union, Indonesia, India, Brazil and Argentina are notable fats and oils–producing countries, and China, the European Union and India are notable high-demand areas that must supplement regional production through imports. The following graph shows world production and consumption by country/region: Global fats and oils consumption will grow at an average annual rate of 4%, mainly as a result of growth in China and India. Growing economies, large populations and improving incomes will increase per capita demand for oils and fats in these countries.
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Glycerin

Published November 2005

Report Abstract

The glycerin market is heavily oversupplied. Massive amounts of raw glycerin (as a by-product of biodiesel production) are overstocking the market in Western Europe, while glycerin output in Asia went up as a result of increased oleochemicals production. A combination of substantial growth in the larger applications (such as personal/oral care products, drugs, and food and beverages) as well as in the traditionally mature end uses contributed to glycerin’s consumption increase.
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Methanol

Published June 2008

Report Abstract

Over the last two decades, a major shift in regional methanol capacity and production has occurred. Countries with large reserves of natural gas and often limited domestic consumption have built world-scale methanol facilities to monetize their low-cost natural gas. The largest producing region/country in 2007 was China; in 2012, it will continue to have the largest capacity and be the largest producer.
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Natural Fatty Acids

Published January 2006

Report Abstract

Many new fatty acid plants have been built in Southeast Asia, which is the major source of coconut, palm and palm kernel oils used as raw materials for C8-C14 fatty acids. Altogether, producers of fatty acids from oil splitting in these countries (excluding China and India) have a total capacity of almost 2 million metric tons. Significant amounts of this increasing production are being exported to other world areas, including North America, Western Europe and Japan, all three of which are now net importers of fatty acids derived from fat and oil splitting.
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Carbon Footprint of Biofuels & Petrofuels Report

Report Abstract

Our new Carbon Footprint of Biofuels & Petrofuels Report combines technology information derived from SRIC’s Process Economics Program with land use data to provide the first in-depth technical comparison of lifecycle CO2 emissions to account for alternative land use options.
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