The Technology Roadmap for Plant/Crop-Based Renewable Resources 2020
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
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The technological success of the petrochemical industry is a tough act to follow. Industry and consumers have come to expect an unending stream of new and improved plastics and other materials to be provided in unlimited quantities. The fossil fuels from which the industry works however are finite and often imported-so we need an additional source of durable high-performance materials. Renewable materials from home-grown crops trees and agricultural wastes can provide many of the same chemical building blocks-plus others that petrochemicals cannot Despite the expertise and ingenuity of U.S. industry and tremendous productivity of U.S. agriculture and forestry plant-based sources cannot automatically shoulder a major share of our chemical feedstock demand. Today U.S. industry only makes minor portions of some classes of chemical products from plant-derived materials. Important scientific and commercial development breakthroughs are needed. Petrochemicals, agriculture, forestry and other industries-as well as government-must make major coordinated efforts to most effectively increase the use of plant-derived chemicals. This document evaluates research development and other priorities for surmounting these technological challenges and sets out a technology roadmap for increasing the use of plant-derived materials for chemical building blocks.
- Agricultural Engineering
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy