Synthesis and Analysis of Performance-Advantaged Bioproducts

Research output: NRELPresentation


Performance-advantaged bioproducts (PABPs) are "novel products where the bio-based product does not resemble an existing petroleum-derived molecule but offers a performance advantage over existing products" (Fitzgerald, Bailey 2018). PABPs are an exciting area with near-term potential to accelerate the bioeconomy. We focus on synthesis, characterization, and economic and sustainability analyses for PABPs, aiming to leverage the inherent chemical functionality of molecules from carbohydrates and lignin via chemical and biological transformations. We collaborate with other BETO projects to source new molecules. Our work is integrated with the Inverse Design project, which provides computational predictions for PABPs and first principles-based results to explain observed properties. Primary outcomes include 1) a Nature Reviews Materials paper that establishes PABP design principles, 2) PA nylons from beta-ketoadipic acid, 3) new recyclable thermosets from bio-aromatic amines, 4) new PA plasticizers that are less toxic, and 5) the experimental validation of a machine learning tool, PolyML, from the Inverse Design project. Going forward, we are working towards an integrated framework to dramatically narrow PABP design space and a materials flow analysis of commodity chemicals as a benchmark for PABPs. Our main challenges are in the sourcing of new molecules that are not commercially available and the need for comprehensive characterizations and scale-up for technology transfer.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) 2021 Project Peer Review, 8-12, 15-16, and 22-26 March 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-2A00-79481


  • bioprocessing separations and plastics
  • bioproducts


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