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Bioeconomy and chemistry

corresponding

JOSÉ VITOR BOMTEMPO*, FLAVIA ALVES, FABIO OROSKI
*Corresponding author
GEBio – Grupo de Estudos em Bioeconomia, School of Chemistry, UFRJ – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Abstract

This article explores how bioeconomy can affect the chemical industry. Bioeconomy brings opportunities and challenges for the industry. The trend of using less fossil resources both as feedstock and as energy sources poses a major challenge for the current industrial activities. This context of increasing challenges also opens a large spectrum of opportunities for new research and innovation agenda. The article discusses these challenges and opportunities from the perspective of four key dimensions: feedstocks, technologies, products and business models. Bioeconomy can bring new market opportunities for the chemical industry and at the same time requesting the sector to renew its competences.


INTRODUCTION

Bioeconomy should be seen at the same time as an opportunity and a threat to the chemical industry. In this article, we explore these two angles considering how bioeconomy can affect the chemical industry under the perspective of technology and business.

The trend of using less fossil resources both as feedstock and as energy sources poses a major challenge for the current industrial activities. Petrochemicals are identified (1) as one of the emissions blind spot to be tackled in the next years. In the coming decades, under the decarbonization of transport sector scenario, the industry is supposed to be the main contributor to the increase in fossil resources consumption. Moreover, plastics, probably an icon of the chemical industry achievements in the last century, are under severe attack leading the incumbents to look for a “new plastics economy” (2)

This context of increasing challenges also opens a large spectrum of opportunities for new research and innovation agenda. The adoption of renewable feedstocks under sustainability and economic drivers is a quite challenging goal which could attract new entrants such as technology-ba ...




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