Biobased Building Blocks, Intermediates and Chemicals

Oil as its comes out of a well, it starts out as a mixture of long hydrocarbon chains, natural gas and non-hydrocarbon impurities. At the well, the natural gas is separated and often flared (burned). The remaining liquid is transported to a refinery where it is fractionated into various fuels. Depending on the oil, the fuel fraction may be 30-40%. The remaining material goes through various thermochemical transformation processes to yield useful starting materials for chemicals, plastics and other products we use in our home.

The biobased intermediates will also follow a similar process. Harvested biomass will be separated and purified at a biorefinery. ¬†Where different fractions will be utilized for different purposes–animal feeds, fuel, starting chemical intermediates. ¬†Three top starting materials for biobased products are:

1. 3-Hydroxypropionic Acid

2. Lactic Acid

3. Succinic Acid