Project: Market Potential for Biobased Materials

Examining the market potential for biobased materials: While the chemical industry has for decades relied on petroleum as its predominant feedstock, recent political, economic, and technological forces are driving a transition towards the greater use of biomass feedstock. We are investigating several questions arising from this transition. Among these:

  • What bio-based chemicals are being produced at commercial scale, and by whom? 
  • How do the environmental and social impacts of bio-based chemicals differ from those of their petroleum-based counterparts, and to what degree is this being considered? 
  • What mechanisms are available to governmental or other actors in order to promote the commercialization of those bio-based chemicals with reduced social/environmental impact and to what degree are these being implemented?

Project leaders: Alastair Iles & Avi Ringer