Challenges in the production of second-generation organic acids (potential monomers for application in biopolymers)

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2021-06-01

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Bio-based plastics represent only 1% of world production, while 98% are plastics of fossil origin. This shows how far we are from an ecologically correct scenario we are, and how much more needs to be done to develop bioplastic processes. Biopolymer production from monomers generated by fermentation, such as some organic acids, is a sustainable alternative to petrochemical sources. One of the main challenges in the use of organic acids in the production of biopolymers is economic competitiveness, since oleochemicals are cheaper than carbon sources used in the production of biomonomers. Thus, the use of agro-industrial residues as substrates in organic acid production can lead to economically viable biopolymers. This study shows that the production of biomonomers using hydrolyzed biomass has the potential to be competitive with petrochemical-based plastics, in which acetic, citric, fumaric, gluconic, lactic itaconic, and succinic acids are the main candidates to be employed in a biorefinery concept.

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Biomass and Bioenergy, v. 149.

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