Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

2015|16 Annual Report Fraunhofer IGB

10 0 BIOBASED MONOMERS FOR POLYMER CHEMISTRY – FROM LAB TO PILOT PLANT Fabian Haitz, Björn Vater, Nicole Werner, Susanne Zibek Polymers from renewable resources Experts as well as laypeople associate the terms “polymer” and “plastic” with chemistry in its early form. Actually, petroleum-based monomers are constituted through chemi- cal synthesis and subsequently combined catalytically with the help of macromolecular chemistry into long chains – the polymers. Thus, polymer chemistry is strongly bound up with reagents derived from petrochemicals. This leads to a strong dependence on petroleum supply. The utilization of locally available renewable raw materials would reduce this depen- dence on oil-exporting nations and additionally could make manufacturing more sustainable. The European BioConSepT project has taken this into account in its approach and is working to bridge biology and chem- istry. The 29 project partners from throughout Europe have pursued development of a variety of important industrial feedstock compounds from a starting point of second- generation renewable raw materials such as lignocellulose and oils not used in the foodstuffs sector. They have worked jointly to “biologize” production of these compounds. The task of Fraunhofer IGB in the consortium has been to de- velop biotech-based production of plant oil-based epoxides, 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and long-chain dicarboxylic acid (DCA), and to optimize their manufacture at the lab- scale in order to subsequently transfer these processes to the pilot-plant scale. Modeling experiments for this scale-up were carried out in the lab using scalable reaction vessels and fer- menter. Using certain dimensionless scaling factors that had been derived from these experiments, the IGB group was then able to design the processes for the proportionately larger pilot plant. Chemo-enzymatic production of the epoxides using enzymes was able to be carried out successfully at pilot- plant scale to demonstrate the potential of the biotechnical processes. 2,5-furandicarboxylic acids and long-chain dicarboxylic acids FDCA and DCA are important building blocks in chemical synthesis due to their bifunctionality. In the case of FDCA, the big potential comes from its high degree of homology with terephthalic acid (PTA). The research group was able to suc- cessfully develop and demonstrate whole-cell catalysis using Pseudomonas putida through the addition of hydroxymethyl- furfural from biomass containing lignocelluloses. A yield of more than 80 percent with concentrations of up to 20 g/L of FDCA was able to be achieved through carefully guiding the reaction in the laboratory. Similarly, dicarboxylic acids were synthesized using a whole- cell catalytic process to convert long-chain monocarboxylic ac- ids (MCA). A microorganism named Candida viswanathii car- ries out this task with very high selectivity; concentrations of up to 100 g/L of 1,18-octadecenoic acid have been achieved. In addition, monocarboxylic acids with varying lengths of carbon chains (C9, C16–C22) were successfully converted to their corresponding dicarboxylic acids. 21 CHEMISTRY H2O2(c,V) 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid terephthalic acid O O OH HO O OHHO O O H2O2(c,V)˙ 100