Green chemistry and biorefinery conceptualization for R&D and Innovation

Green chemistry and biorefinery conceptualization for R&D and Innovation


By: María del Pilar Noriega E., PhD - Daabon - R&D and Innovation Director

Colombia is one of the largest producers in the Americas  of biodiesel from palm oil  and bioethanol from sugar cane. This industry involves more than 800,000 planted hectares, 160 municipalities and 21 departments of  the  country, as well as more than 130 strategic production alliances. These biofuel production plants have by-products, with potential for  future value- added creations such as liquid and solid biomass (see images), glycerin, biobased products and other sub- products, which may be developed by biorefineries. These products have a high probability of use in sectors such as food, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, personal care (incl. soaps), green chemicals and others.

The concept of biorefinery is increasingly related to the circular economy: closing the loops of materials and products. Existing industrial facilities must be redesigned with the objective of integrating residues and by-products in to current production, thereby increasing the product slate and improving the profitability of the process.

 Green chemistry is also being related to the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous substances. Green chemistry practices apply across the life cycle of a chemical product, from its  design,  manufacture  and use until its ultimate disposal. This conceptualization, with its respective R&D and innovation projects, will enable DAABON Group to enter different sectors in Colombia and other countries. It will also help the transition to more environmentally friendly materials and energy.