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

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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.

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

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Authors and Affiliations



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.

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Correspondence to Melissa Braga.

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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).

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