The majority of biomass polymers when broken down into their constituents consist of cellulose-derived sugars of 5 or 6 carbon atoms and lignin-derived aromatic building blocks. These building blocks are relatively highly oxidized and thus without further chemical conversion are not well-suited for fuels and chemicals. Scientists at NDSU have recently invented novel methods for the conversion of renewable resources to feedstock chemicals. The lignin and cellulose degradation products are converted to higher quality monomers through certain chemical reactions for use in polymer synthesis. Applications: The monomers of the invention have high market value as commodity and specialty chemicals green building materials nylons resins and plastics.
1) This technology can utilize any biomass source to synthesize monomers. 2) The methods can be extended to compounds obtainable from other bio-renewable resources such as oil seeds. 3) The invention provides bio-based or “green” monomers that can be substituted for terephthalic acid and its derivatives in industrial polymers and copolymers. 4) The monomers synthesized from biomass are not easily obtained via a petrochemical route.