M. Al-Naji, H. Schlaad, M. Antonietti
New (and old) monomers from biorefineries to make polymer chemistry more sustainable
Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2021, 42, 2000485
DOI: 10.1002/marc.202000485
This opinion article describes recent approaches to use the \"biorefinery\" concept to lower the carbon footprint of typical mass polymers, by replacing parts of the fossil monomers with similar or even the same monomer made from regrowing dendritic biomass. Herein, the new and green catalytic synthetic routes are for lactic acid (LA), isosorbide (IS), 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), and p-xylene (pXL). Furthermore, the synthesis of two unconventional lignocellulosic biomass derivable monomers, i.e., α-methylene-γ-valerolactone (MeGVL) and levoglucosenol (LG), are presented. All those have the potential to enter in a cost-effective way, also the mass market and thereby recover lost areas for polymer materials. The differences of catalytic unit operations of the biorefinery are also discussed and the challenges that must be addressed along the synthesis path of each monomers.
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