A unified view on catalytic conversion of biomass and waste plastics

Nat Rev Chem. 2022 Aug 11:1-18. doi: 10.1038/s41570-022-00411-8. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Originating from the desire to improve sustainability, producing fuels and chemicals from the conversion of biomass and waste plastic has become an important research topic in the twenty-first century. Although biomass is natural and plastic synthetic, the chemical nature of the two are not as distinct as they first appear. They share substantial structural similarities in terms of their polymeric nature and the types of bonds linking their monomeric units, resulting in close relationships between the two materials and their conversions. Previously, their transformations were mostly studied and reviewed separately in the literature. Here, we summarize the catalytic conversion of biomass and waste plastics, with a focus on bond activation chemistry and catalyst design. By tracking the historical and more recent developments, it becomes clear that biomass and plastic have not only evolved their unique conversion pathways but have also started to cross paths with each other, with each influencing the landscape of the other. As a result, this Review on the catalytic conversion of biomass and waste plastic in a unified angle offers improved insights into existing technologies, and more importantly, may enable new opportunities for future advances.

PMID:35971331 | PMC:PMC9366821 | DOI:10.1038/s41570-022-00411-8

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