In an effort to move toward a bio-based and sustainable economy, a study has successfully simplified the process of transformation of waste materials into chemicals of high value.
A collaborative effort carried out the U.K. and Brazil finds waste of wheat straw and sugar cane from agricultural processes can be converted into high value chemicals. The final product thus received from this conversion increases the value of the product by 5000 times.
Biofuels are renewable, unlike other fossil fuels. Dependence on fossil fuel assists in reducing the reliance of on crude oil, which has limited supply. However, the cost of production of biofuels is quite high in comparison with fossil fuels.
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The study reveals feasibility of a single ‘one pot’ process to convert waste of biomass into useful chemicals. The use of these chemicals lie as a precursor for human therapeutic drugs and in food industry. The usefulness of biofuels from various plant-based sources compensates for the high cost of production.
At present, burning of agricultural waste is the practice rather than reuse. With the new process, waste of plants like sugarcane and wheat straw finds reuse.
The chemicals find use as building blocks to produce everyday products such as food flavorings, fabric softener, air fresheners, and life-saving medications. Additionally, the process offers an alternative way of finding excellent chemical blocks currently obtained from various petrochemical sources.
This international team of researchers have exhibited that it is possible to produce coniferol, the dynamic chemical building block, straight from plant-based biomass. Meanwhile. in a move toward circular bi-economy, regulations and policies are playing a significant role. These policies and regulations are impacted by the depleting sources of petrochemicals and its implications on the environment. This study offers a report on a strategy of consolidated biodegradation-biotransformation strategy, which facilitates production of high value chemicals.