Chemicals used for a variety of applications ranging from plastics to pharmaceuticals, are often made from fossil feedstock. The consumer demand for environmentally friendly products and long-term limitations for the supply of fossil resources have opened new opportunities for renewable chemicals. This is why the possibility of using biomass as a chemical feedstock is being actively explored, and the concept of biorefinery has been created.
Renewable chemicals research at UAntwerp
Renewable chemicals research at UAntwerp is focusing on the methods for biomass conversion, encompassing both chemical and biochemical methods. Part of our research effort is devoted to the so called drop-in renewable chemicals: sustainable versions of existing petrochemicals. They are chemically identical to existing fossil-based products, and applications for them are established, they may get faster access to the market. However, major focus is on the novel renewable chemicals, which may offer unique properties compared to the existing petrochemical alternatives.