Crops aren’t just for food, fiber and fuel. Researchers at the University of Florida are making new industrial applications possible for them as well.
They’ve developed a method to turn sugarcane bagasse—the crushed-stalk waste product of sugar production—into succinic acid that can be used to make pharmaceuticals, protective coatings and compostable bags.
The process uses no food crops or petroleum as raw materials. In contrast, most currently produced succinic acid is petroleum derived. The research is detailed in a study in the March 5 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“I believe renewable chemicals will be at least a part of the future of our chemical industry, if we want to decrease the demand for petroleum,” said Xuan Wang, the study’s lead author and an assistant scientist in UF’s microbiology and cell science department.
Read more at: Phys.org