D 2.1 Background information and biorefinery status, potential and sustainability : task 2.1.2 market and consumers; carbohydrates
Bos, H.L.; Harmsen, P.F.H.; Annevelink, E.
Wageningen UR, Food & Biobased Research
This report was produced to give an overview of present and future market for biorefinery products based on carbohydrates. Various studies show that there is a wealth of possible molecules and products that can be produced from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates already find significant application in starch products and cellulose plastics and fibres. However, for a biorefinery to operate in an economically sustainable way, applications for (preferably all) biomass ingredients need to be found. Presumably the optimal mix of applications will be a combination of larger volume/smaller value and smaller volume/higher value applications. For this study we therefore have taken a molecular approach. Looking at the size of possible end markets for the molecules that can be based on carbohydrates a number of main products come into view: dialcohols, dioic acids, 2,5 furan dicarboxylic acid and ethanol. These molecules with a wide application range can serve as basis targets for the carbohydrate stream of a biorefinery, provided the production processes are optimised to make them competitive to the petrochemical counterparts. Speciality applications for the resulting side streams will then need to be found on a case by case basis.