Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Meeting Brazilian challenges for a bio-based economy: the case of alcohols and carboxylic acids

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Growing environmental concerns worldwide encourage industrial sectors to transition from fossil to bio-based products. However, deciding where to invest R&D resources is critical since many different bio-based products can be economically competitive. As one of the biggest biomass producers, Brazil plays an important role in this transition as a feedstock supplier. In this work, the Delphi technique was employed to identify Brazil’s challenges and opportunities for the local production of renewable short-chain acids and alcohols in the bioeconomy context. The results indicate that optimization and development of the downstream processes to reduce costs are the main challenges for traditional renewables and drop-in chemicals production. For new renewable chemicals, the main challenge is to demonstrate the economic potential of these compounds, as they do not have a pre-established market and depend on proving their performance. Lactic acid, acrylic acid, levulinic acid, ethanol, isobutanol, and polyols are the most locally demanded products from biomass. This work also shows that Brazilian perspectives on bio-based alcohols and carboxylic acids are aligned with worldwide demands. This study successfully summarizes the view of specialists on technological developments, challenges, and limitations to the bio-based process in Brazil.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others

Data availability

Raw data supporting the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author MB on request.

References

  1. United Nations (2017) Global indicator framework for the sustainable development goals and targets of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. In: Sustain. Dev. Goals. https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/indicators/Global Indicator Framework after 2022 refinement_Eng.pdf. Accessed 24 Oct 2022

  2. Straathof AJJ, Bampouli A (2017) Potential of commodity chemicals to become bio-based according to maximum yields and petrochemical prices. Biofuels Bioprod Biorefining 11:798–810. https://doi.org/10.1002/bbb.1786

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Spekreijse J, Lammens T, Parisi C et al (2019) Insights into the European market for bio-based chemicals. In: JRC Sci Policy Rep. https://ec.europa.eu/jrc. Accessed 23 Nov 2022

  4. Guo M, Song W (2019) The growing U.S. bioeconomy: drivers, development and constraints. N Biotechnol 49:48–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nbt.2018.08.005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Popper R (2008) Foresight metodology. In: Georghiou L, Harper JC, Keenan M et al (eds) The handbook of technology foresight. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, pp 44–88

    Google Scholar 

  6. Loveridge D (2004) Experts and foresight: review and experience. Int J Foresight Innov Policy 1:1–37. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJFIP.2004.004651

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Linstone HA, Turoff M (1975) The Delphi method: techniques and applications. Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  8. Hurmekoski E, Lovrić M, Lovrić N et al (2019) Frontiers of the forest-based bioeconomy—a European Delphi study. For Policy Econ 102:86–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2019.03.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Toppinen A, Pätäri S, Tuppura A, Jantunen A (2017) The European pulp and paper industry in transition to a bio-economy: a Delphi study. Futures 88:1–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2017.02.002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Ribeiro BE, Quintanilla MA (2015) Transitions in biofuel technologies: an appraisal of the social impacts of cellulosic ethanol using the Delphi method. Technol Forecast Soc Change 92:53–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2014.11.006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Chen K, Ren Z, Mu S et al (2020) Integrating the Delphi survey into scenario planning for China’s renewable energy development strategy towards 2030. Technol Forecast Soc Change 158:120157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120157

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Jesus KRE, Torquato SA, Machado PG et al (2019) Sustainability assessment of sugarcane production systems: SustenAgro decision support system. Environ Dev 32:100444. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envdev.2019.05.003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Braga M, Ferreira PM, Almeida JRM (2020) Screening method to prioritize relevant bio-based acids and their biochemical processes using recent patent information. Biofuels Bioprod Biorefining 15:231–249. https://doi.org/10.1002/bbb.2156

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Brethauer S, Studer MH (2015) Biochemical conversion processes of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals - a review. Chimia (Aarau) 69:572–581. https://doi.org/10.2533/chimia.2015.572

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Padella M, O’Connell A, Prussi M (2019) What is still limiting the deployment of cellulosic ethanol? Analysis of the current status of the sector. Appl Sci 9:4523–4536. https://doi.org/10.3390/app9214523

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Patel A, Shah AR (2021) Integrated lignocellulosic biorefinery: gateway for production of second generation ethanol and value added products. J Bioresour Bioprod 6:108–128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobab.2021.02.001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Hassan SS, Williams GA, Jaiswal AK (2018) Emerging technologies for the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. Bioresour Technol 262:310–318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2018.04.099

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Bergmann JC, Trichez D, Sallet LP et al (2018) Technological advancements in 1G ethanol production and recovery of by-products based on the biorefinery concept. In: Advances in sugarcane biorefinery: technologies, commercialization, policy issues and paradigm shift for bioethanol and by-products. Elsevier Inc., pp 73–95

  19. Ab Rasid NS, Shamjuddin A, Rahman AZA, Amin NAS (2021) Recent advances in green pre-treatment methods of lignocellulosic biomass for enhanced biofuel production. J Clean Prod 321:129038. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129038

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Sinitsyn AP, Sinitsyna OA (2021) Bioconversion of renewable plant biomass. Second-generation biofuels: raw materials, biomass pretreatment, enzymes, processes, and cost analysis. Biochem 86:S166–S195

    Google Scholar 

  21. Zabed HM, Akter S, Yun J et al (2019) Recent advances in biological pretreatment of microalgae and lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 105:105–128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2019.01.048

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Lopes AM, Ferreira-Filho EX, Moreira LRS (2018) An update on enzymatic cocktails for lignocellulose breakdown. J Appl Microbiol 125:632–645. https://doi.org/10.1111/jam.13923

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Silva ASA, Espinheira RP, Teixeira RSS et al (2020) Constraints and advances in high-solids enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass: a critical review. Biotechnol Biofuels 13:1–28. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13068-020-01697-w

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Singh N, Gautam Y, Balakrishnan M, Basu S (2021) Separation of lignin from pulp and paper mill wastewater using forward osmosis process. Mater Today Proc 47:1423–1429. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.MATPR.2021.03.215

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. De Jong E, Stichnothe H, Bell G, Jorgensen H (2020) Bio-based chemicals: a 2020 update. In: IEA Bioenergy Task 42 Biorefinery. https://www.ieabioenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Bio-based-chemicals-a-2020-update-final-200213.pdf. Accessed 11 Aug 2022

  26. De Jong E, Higson A, Walsh P, Wellisch M (2012) Bio-based chemicals: value added products from biorefineries. In: IEA Bioenergy, Task42 Biorefinery. http://www.ieabioenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Task-42-Biobased-chemicals-value-added-products-from-biorefineries.pdf. Accessed 14 Dec 2016

  27. Werpy T, Petersen G (2004) Top value added chemicals from biomass volume I—results of screening for potential candidates from sugars and synthesis gas energy efficiency and renewable energy. In: US. Dep. Energy. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/35523.pdf. Accessed 23 Jan 2017

  28. Braga M, Ferreira PM, Lopes CL, et al (2021) Estudo bibliométrico e análise de patentes acerca da produção de ácidos carboxílicos e álcoois a partir de açúcares, Parte 1: ácidos carboxílicos. In: Documentos. https://www.embrapa.br/busca-de-publicacoes/-/publicacao/1131165/estudo-bibliometrico-e-analise-de-patentes-acerca-da-producao-de-acidos-carboxilicos-e-alcoois-a-partir-de-acucares-parte-1-acidos-carboxilicos. Accessed 28 Aug 2021

  29. Braga M, Ferreira PM, Oliveira CR, Almeida JRM (2021) Estudo bibliométrico e análise de patentes acerca da produção de ácidos carboxílicos e álcoois a partir de açúcares Parte 2: álcoois. In: Documentos. https://ainfo.cnptia.embrapa.br/digital/bitstream/item/222901/1/Estudo-bibliome769trico-e-ana769lise-de-patentes.pdf. Accessed 18 Oct 2021

  30. EFP Delphi Study. In: Eur. Foresight Platf. http://foresight-platform.eu/community/forlearn/how-to-do-foresight/methods/classical-delphi/. Accessed 11 Aug 2022

  31. Zakaria MR, Fujimoto S, Hirata S, Hassan MA (2014) Ball milling pretreatment of oil palm biomass for enhancing enzymatic hydrolysis. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 173:1778–1789. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12010-014-0964-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Ziaei-Rad Z, Fooladi J, Pazouki M, Gummadi SN (2021) Lignocellulosic biomass pre-treatment using low-cost ionic liquid for bioethanol production: an economically viable method for wheat straw fractionation. Biomass Bioenerg 151:106140. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2021.106140

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Amato A, Becci A, Beolchini F (2020) Citric acid bioproduction: the technological innovation change. Crit Rev Biotechnol 40:199–212. https://doi.org/10.1080/07388551.2019.1709799

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Komesu A, Oliveira JAR, da Martins LHS et al (2017) Lactic acid production to purification: a review. BioResources 12:4364–4383

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Pappenberger G, Hohmann H-P (2013) Industrial production of l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and d-isoascorbic acid. Biotechnol Food Feed Addit 143:143–188. https://doi.org/10.1007/10_2013_243

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. De Jong E, Stichnothe H, Bell G (2020) Bio-based chemicals, 01 edn. IEA Bioenergy

    Google Scholar 

  37. MCoy M (2019) Succinic acid, once a biobased chemical star, is barely being made. Chem Eng News 97. https://cen.acs.org/content/cen/articles/97/i12/Succinic-acid-once-biobased-chemical.html. Accessed 23 Nov 2022

  38. EMR (2021) Global acrylic acid market outlook. https://www.expertmarketresearch.com/reports/acrylic-acid-market. Accessed 23 Aug 2021

  39. Ryan C (2019) An overview of Gevo’s biobased isobutanol production process. In: Gevo. https://gevo.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Gevo-WP_Isobutanol.1.pdf. Accessed 15 Aug 2022

  40. Kohli K, Prajapati R, Sharma BK (2019) Bio-based chemicals from renewable biomass for integrated biorefineries. Energies 12:233. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12020233

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Karp SG, Medina JDC, Letti LAJ et al (2021) Bioeconomy and biofuels: the case of sugarcane ethanol in Brazil. Biofuels Bioprod Biorefining 15:899–912. https://doi.org/10.1002/bbb.2195

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Pereira G (2020) Bioeconomia e a indústria brasileira. In: CNI. https://static.portaldaindustria.com.br/media/filer_public/cd/ed/cded4159-a4c5-474d-9182-dd901b317e1c/bioeconomia_e_a_industria_brasileira.pdf. Accessed 15 Aug 2022

  43. European Commission (2017) Expert group report: review of the EU bioeconomy strategy and its action plan. In: Res. Innov. http://repo.aki.gov.hu/3121/1/bioeconomy_expert_group_report.pdf. Accessed 15 Aug 2022

  44. E4tech(UK) (2017) UK top bio-based chemicals opportunities. In: LBNet. www.e4tech.com. Accessed 26 Oct 2022

  45. Bain&Company, Gas Energy (2014) Estudo do potencial de diversificação da indústria química brasileira: relatório final. http://www.abiquim.org.br/pdf/estudos-bndes.pdf. Accessed 14 Dec 2016

  46. Nattrass L, Biggs C, Bauen A, et al (2016) The EU bio-based industry: results from a survey. In: JRC Tech. Reports. http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC100357/jrc100357.pdf. Accessed 15 Oct 2022

  47. OECD (2014) Biobased chemicals and bioplastics: finding the right policy balance. In: Ind. Biotechnol. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/science-and-technology/biobased-chemicals-and-bioplastics_5jxwwfjx0djf-en. Accessed 26 Oct 2022

  48. Ladu L, Clavell J (2018) D3.1 - Identification of technological trends in selected value chains. In: STAR4BBI. www.inno.tu-berlin.de. Accessed 15 Oct 2022

  49. IEA (2017) Technology roadmap: delivering sustainable bioenergy. https://www.ieabioenergy.com/blog/publications/technology-roadmap-delivering-sustainable-bioenergy/. Accessed 28 Aug 2021

  50. Conab (2022) Boletim da Safra de Cana-de-açúcar. https://www.conab.gov.br/info-agro/safras/cana/boletim-da-safra-de-cana-de-acucar. Accessed 15 Aug 2022

  51. Barros S, Woody K (2020) Corn ethanol production booms in Brazil. In: USDA Foreign Agric. Serv. https://apps.fas.usda.gov/newgainapi/api/Report/DownloadReportByFileName?fileName=Corn Ethanol Production Booms in Brazil _Brasilia_Brazil_10–04–2020. Accessed 15 Aug 2022

  52. Abquim (2021) Importações de US$ 5,3 bi e de 5,5 milhões de toneladas, em julho, são novos recordes setoriais. In: Notícias Abquim. https://abiquim.org.br/comunicacao/noticia/9726. Accessed 15 Aug 2022

  53. Rokem JS (2020) TCA cycle organic acids produced by filamentous fungi: the building blocks of the future. In: Nevalainen H (ed) Grand challenges in biology and biotechnology. Springer, Cham, pp 439–476

    Google Scholar 

  54. Song CW, Park JM, Chung SC et al (2019) Microbial production of 2,3-butanediol for industrial applications. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 46:1583–1601. https://doi.org/10.1007/S10295-019-02231-0

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

This work is financially supported by Fundação de Apoio à Pesquisa do Distrito Federal (FAP-DF) under grant number 236/2019.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

All authors contributed to the study’s conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Ana Cristina dos Santos, Emerson Leo Schultz, Melissa Braga, Mônica Caramez Triches Damaso, Emerson Léo Schultz, and Kátia Regina Evaristo de Jesus. The first draft of the manuscript was written by João Ricardo Moreira de Almeida and Melissa Braga, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Melissa Braga.

Ethics declarations

Ethical approval

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher's note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Braga, M., Schultz, E.L., de Jesus, K.R.E. et al. Meeting Brazilian challenges for a bio-based economy: the case of alcohols and carboxylic acids. Biomass Conv. Bioref. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13399-022-03568-w

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13399-022-03568-w

Keywords

Navigation