Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 1–16 | Cite as

Review: Bio-polyethylene from Wood Wastes

  • C. M. Mendieta
  • M. E. Vallejos
  • F. E. Felissia
  • G. Chinga-Carrasco
  • M. C. AreaEmail author


There is a global trend of substitution of fossil fuels for renewable energy sources, which are preferred by reasons including sustainability, reduction of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, regional and social systems advancement, among others. This review is part of the studies carried out on the integral use of wood industrial wastes due to its low costs and high availability. A possible high-value product is ethylene, obtained by catalytic dehydration of second-generation bioethanol from lignocellulosic materials and which can be an effective alternative for the production of polymers such as polyethylene (PE), which is conventionally obtained from petroleum. Biobased polyethylene or biopolyethylene (BioPE) may potentially contribute to close a pine biorefinery scheme to obtain high-value products, using processes of low pollution and contributing to the global environmental balance. The process involves the following stages: pretreatment, enzymatic saccharification, fermentation, dehydration, and polymerization. This review includes the different processes for second generation (2G) bioethylene productions from pine wastes as an example and the technologies that can potentially be applied on an industrial scale for BioPE production, focusing on the catalytic dehydration of 2G bioethanol through the use of catalysts able to achieve high ethanol conversions and ethylene selectivity.


Biorefinery Lignocellulosic biomass Heterogeneous catalysis Bioethylene Biopolyethylene 







Enzymatic hydrolysis yield


Enzymatic hydrolysis




Hydrolysis and fermentation


Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation


Direct microbial conversion






Mechanism of elimination reaction (unimolecular)


Mechanism of elimination reaction (bimolecular)


Nucleophilic substitution reaction (unimolecular)


Nucleophilic substitution reaction (bimolecular)



This work has been funded by the National University of Missions, the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), and the ValBio-3D project Grant ELAC2015/T03-0715 Valorization of residual biomass for advanced 3D materials (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Production of Argentina, and Research Council of Norway, Grant No. 271054).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Mendieta
    • 1
  • M. E. Vallejos
    • 1
  • F. E. Felissia
    • 1
  • G. Chinga-Carrasco
    • 2
  • M. C. Area
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de Materiales de Misiones (IMAM)PosadasArgentina
  2. 2.RISE PFITrondheimNorway

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