Conversion of bio derived molecules into useful chemicals.
One of the major challenges to the development of biorenewable chemical industry is the identification and focus of the key intermediates and platform chemicals. Biofuels can be greenhouse neutral if efficient methods for their production are developed. The petroleum refinery in place today is benefiting from years of research in optimization for the production of value added chemicals. The implementation and development of biorefinery is still under investigation. While a consensus on the key intermediates to be utilized in biorefinery yet needs to be reached, the most common reactions like oxidation, hydrogenation, and dehydration will definitely play a role in their development.
There are a number of projects being run in CCI which focus on use of bio based molecules. The aim is to convert bio derivatives (Levulinic acid, Lactic acid, Furfural, Hydroxymethyl furfural etc.) into various products, which have a wide range of applications in the field of biorefinery.
The main reaction pathways being considered at the moment are oxidation and hydrogenation, with the focus geared towards the development of heterogeneous catalysts, along with an optimization of reactions for an efficient conversion into useful chemicals under green conditions.