Wednesday, 28 June 2006 - 11:50 AM
Federal Room B (Capital Hilton)

Progress in the development of a general biomass-based chemistry

Rawle I. Hollingsworth, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

We have been developing ways of transforming carbohydrates into general chemical intermediates and have recently developed an integrated scheme for the high yield recovery and separation of xylose and arabinose from plant processing residue. Progress has been made in the transformation of a variety of carbohydrate-derived intermediates to a variety of materials and pharmaceutically important substances that are in active use in industry. Biomass sources used in this work include corn and sugar beets. The work we will describe will involve transformations of refined products such as starch and maltodextrins as well as unrefined materials such as sugar beet pulp. Several elements of the processes are in commercial production in the multi-ton scale for the pharmaceutical sector. End products from our biomass conversion activities include polymers, thin films, drug delivery vehicles, drug intermediates and drug discovery libraries for a variety of diseases including cancer, microbial infections, diabetes and neurological disorders. A review of the key chemistries underlying the biomass transformations we employ, a report on successes thus far and a vision for the future will be presented. We will also address the business development and commercialization aspects of our programs and briefly introduce our efforts in educating the stakeholders across the board.

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