Title: Green Gold? Supplanting Petroleum with Renewable Carbon.
Steady increases in global oil consumption aggravated by declining fossil fuel reserves necessitate the continued development of technologies to manufacture chemicals and fuels from non-petroleum sources of carbon. As the global population is projected to continue to grow through the end of this century, consumption of alternative sources of energy must be adopted in order to meet rising demand. Non-food based biomass represents a vast source of renewable carbon with which to synthesize chemicals and fuels. In fact, the U.S. is projected to have the ability to produce over a billion tons of biomass for the bioenergy and bioproducts industry within the next six years alone. In order to effectively utilize this massive resource, however, efficient methodologies for transforming biomass-derived carbon material into useful chemicals and fuels must be developed at a comparable rate. At LANL we have developed a range of pathways to convert sugars, bio-derived platform chemicals and bio-derived building blocks to fuels and value-added chemicals. These approaches will be presented and discussed in the context of Department of Energy programs and how to tailor and scale discovery chemistry to meet industry needs.
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