Raw material demand and sourcing options for the development for a bio-based chemical industry in Europe : Part 1 : Estimation of maximum demand

Bos, H.L.; Sanders, J.P.M.


This perspective presents an estimation of the future demand for biomass of the chemical industry in Europe, provided that naphtha, the present feedstock of the petrochemical industry, is fully replaced by biomass. Data are based on the Eurostat data on manufactured goods for EU27 in 2007. Two different strategies of biomass application are studied: (i) biomass is used to produce the six platform chemicals that presently form the basis of the petrochemical industry, which would allow the subsequent production of all chemicals that are presently produced in the existing infrastructure, and (ii) the chemical functionality present in the various constituents of biomass is used to produce directly the functionalized molecules that are presently produced via the platform chemicals. Not only is the use of carbohydrates and lignin taken into account, also the use of biomass components, such as proteins and natural oils, is considered. It is shown that the second approach will require less biomass (and thus land) than the first approach and that the application of biorefinery technologies, in order to separate the biomass in its different constituents, which can subsequently be used to produce the functionalized molecules, can even further diminish the demand for land. Furthermore it is concluded that production of chemicals from biomass is more beneficial that production of transportation fuels or electricity