06/06/2012 | Author / Editor: Anke Geipel-Kern / Dominik Stephan
Raw materials shift: Mineral oil, coal, natural gas or bio-mass — the discussion about the raw material mix of the future has just begun. “In the medium term, the basis will widen from mineral oil to natural gas,” predicts Professor Michael Röper, responsible for Science Relations and Innovation Management at BASF. But biomass is also becoming more important, a trend from the plant constructors in particular are profiting.
For, until now, syngas has been the most important intermediate when it is a question of use as a chemical raw material. But hybrid processes, combining biotechnology and chemical synthesis, are also gaining popularity, as exemplified by polybutylene succinate. The plant constructor Uhde Inventa-Fischer has just presented a process for manufacturing the biopolymer polybutylene succinate (PBS), produced by continuous poly-condensation of succinic acid and butanediol. A pilot-project will start very soon in Leuna/Germany. ●
* The author is an editor at PROCESS
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