Chemicals from Biomass

  • W. J. Sheppard
  • E. S. Lipinsky
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 67)


The use of biomass as a source of materials is different from the use of biomass as a source of fuels. First, the scale of production of chemicals is smaller than of fuels. Using the United States as an example, in 1980 total energy use was 79 EJ* (DOE 1982). Chemical feedstock use (which is included in the above) was 3.2 EJ, or 8.4 percent of the total (USITC 1980; C&EN 1981). (OECD data gives a lower number, 6.1 percent for the United States and 6.3 percent for the OECD countries as a whole (IEA).) Another way to compare the chemicals and fuels is to look at ethyl alcohol and gasoline. The United States in 1980 consumed 3.8 × 1011 liters of gasoline, but synthetic ethanol production was only 6.6 × 108 liters. (By way of comparison with biomass production, if all the maize production in the United States were converted to ethanol, it would amount to 8.4 × 1010 liters.)


Lactic Acid FURFURYL Alcohol Rosin Acid Calcium Carbide Dioctyl Phthalate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Chemical and Engineering News, May 4, 1981, p. 41; June 8, 1981, p. 67.Google Scholar
  2. Department of Energy, “Monthly Energy Review,” DOE/EIA 0035 (82/02).Google Scholar
  3. Sheppard, W.J. and E.S. Lipinsky, “Can Sucrose Compete With Hydrocarbons as a Chemical Feedstock?” Sucrochemistry, J. L. Hickson, ed. Am. Chem. Soc. Symposium Series No. 41 (1977) PP. 336–50.Google Scholar
  4. Sinclair, R.G., U.S. Patents 4,045,418 and 4,057, 537 (1977).Google Scholar
  5. U.S. International Trade Commission, Synthetic Organic Chemicals, 1980, USITC 1183.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. J. Sheppard
    • 1
  • E. S. Lipinsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Battelle Columbus LaboratoriesColumbusUSA

Personalised recommendations