University researchers develop plastics from biomass


A team of chemical engineers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Delaware claims it has discovered a new way to make plastic bottles from biomass rather than petroleum.

Researchers that made the discovery are part of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI), which is comprised of more than 20 faculty members working together to create new technologies for the production of biofuels and chemicals from plant biomass. The center is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Paul Dauenhauer, chemical professor at UMass Amherst, told PlasticsToday one of the major goals of the center is to effectively utilize sugars for the production of renewable polymers including PET.

The new discovery demonstrates an efficient, renewable way to produce the chemical p-xylene, or paraxylene, according to the news release....
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