Better Living through Plants. Are They Replacements for Fossil Fuel
based Chemicals?
Mukund P. Sibi
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
North Dakota State University
Fargo, North Dakota, USA
[email protected]
Approximately 96% of the organic chemicals used today are derived from fossil fuels. However,
fossil fuels are a nonrenewable resource with a finite quantity available. With an oil supply that
is likely to be depleted in 40 years, it is essential to discover alternative renewable resources to
produce the chemicals that our world relies on. One viable option is the use of biomass as a
chemical feedstock. Unlike oil, biomass is a renewable resource that does not require mining.
Our group’s research is focused on the development of novel methods for the conversion of
renewable resources to feedstock chemicals for use in polymer synthesis. In our work we have
used three important renewable materials (1) oil seeds, (2) cellulose, and (3) lignin. In particular,
we are investigating novel methodologies for the synthesis of linear dicarboxylic acids and
application of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) as starting material. I will discuss broad aspects of
why one should consider biomass as a feedstock and utility of a new platform of chemicals.
Thermoset Coatings from Epoxidized Sucrose Soyate and Blocked, Biobased Dicarboxylic Acids.
Kovash, C. S.; Pavlacky, E.; Selvakumar, S.; Sibi, M. P.; Webster, D. C. Chem. Sus. Chem., Under
Novel Bio-Based Poly(vinyl ether)s and Their Application as Alkyd-Type Surface Coatings. Kalita, H.;
Selvakumar, S.; Jayasooriyamu, A.; Fernando, S.; Samanta, S.; Bahr, J.; Alam, S.; Sibi, M.; Vold, J.;
Ulven, C.; Chisholm, B. J. Green Chemistry, 2014, in press.
Polyamides Based on the Renewable Monomer, 1,13-Tridecane Diamine I:
Synthesis and
Characterization of Nylon 13,T. He, J.; Samanta, S.; Selvakumar, S.; Lattimer, J.; Ulven. C.; Sibi, M. P.;
Chisholm, B. Green Materials, 2013, 1, 114-124.

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