About this Research Topic
Recently, exploring chemical or fermentative pathways to producing fuels/chemicals from sustainable feedstocks has attracted increased interest from researchers worldwide. In the petroleum industry, petrochemicals produce almost as much revenue as fuels, although a much smaller volume of oil goes towards production of chemicals. This is because petrochemicals have a much higher profit margin over fuels. With environmental management and sustainable development, we believe that future fuels/chemicals will be most likely produced from sustainable feedstocks. Lignocellulosic biomass is considered to be the only sustainable resource with the potential to deliver renewable fuels and bio-based chemicals. To realize an economically competitive lignocellulosic biorefinery, producing high value co-products (e.g., chemicals) together with biofuels is very necessary. Value-added bio-based chemicals can offset the cost of biofuels, and thus help make biofuel production cost-competitive with petroleum-derived fuels.
In the past decade, research has been focusing on developing technologies to produce drop-in fuels which could be used “as is” to substitute for conventional petroleum-derived fuels including gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel. Bio-based functional replacement chemicals and novel products are an exciting and promising new area of interest to academia, governments, and industry. As the lignocellulose structure is very different from petroleum, it is likely that some novel bio-derived products might have properties superior to existing materials. Undoubtedly, these performance-advantaged products will greatly benefit the bioeconomy and environment, especially if these new chemicals are produced from feedstocks such as biomass, wet wastes and industrial waste gases.
This Research Topic aims to introduce the current advancements in bio-based fuels/chemicals, especially petroleum replacement chemicals from renewable feedstocks or wastes, and identify the challenges in developing these new conversion technologies via biological and/or chemical pathways.
The Topic Editors encourage submissions of original research articles, short communications, and review articles. The themes covered in this Research Topic include but are not restricted to:
1. Biological production of drop-in bio-based fuels/chemicals from biomass;
2. Chemical catalytic production of drop-in bio-based fuels/chemicals from biomass;
3. Biological or chemical production of bio-based chemicals with functional replacement of the petroleum-derived products;
4. Biological or chemical production of novel bioproducts which don’t resemble an existing petroleum-derived product in structure or function, but with superior performance;
5. Drop-in or novel chemicals produced from other carbon feedstocks including MSW, food wastes, waste fats/oils and other feedstocks not suitable for food or feed use;
6. Review or research papers addressing the challenges in developing novel bio-based chemicals.
Keywords: Renewable feedstock, Biomass, Bio-based fuels/chemicals, Drop-in, Functional replacement, Wastes
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.