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스포츠 전국 연예·문화 Global 아시아뉴스통신TV

STRAW WASTE FROM WHEAT COULD BE THE BUILDING BLOCKS FOR GREENER CHEMICALS AND FUELS

Photo by subbotina via 123RF Researchers are planning to use the huge amounts of wheat straw in European farms left to rot to develop the basic blocks for greener biochemicals. Leftover straw from harvested wheat could be converted into bio-based chemicals that offer high greenhouse gas savings and do not compete with food supplies or damage ecosystems. The OPTISOCHEM project funded by the European Union bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking Program is aiming to convert excess materials, such as wheat stalks left behind after harvest, into something useful like a gas called bio-isobutene. “Wheat straw is the most important type of agriculture residue in the EU, about 144 million tons accumulate each year,” said Bernard Chaud, director of industrial strategy at Global Bioenergies. Sugars in wheat straw can be fermented and turned into gas at biorefineries to produce and extract bio-isobutene to create biochemicals. These biochemical can replace fossil fuel-based chemicals that are currently used to manufacture plastics, paints, tires, lubricants, adhesives, and sealants. Biofuels are one of the most realistic alternatives to fossil fuels for the transport sector, such as aviation and maritime industries. It is a carbon-neutral energy source that removes carbon out of the atmosphere and does not release emissions when burned. Unfortunately, biofuels face difficulty because it competes with food crops for land in which food security is already a global problem. “We are facing a challenge. We need more produce for a growing population but we have limited resources. At the same time, we want to protect the environment and reduce fossil fuel use. With bio-isobutene from wheat straw, we can use a feedstock already available (for biochemicals),” said Chaud. Biochemicals can also be used as an improved binding agent in concrete and help reduce the amount of water needed during construction or as bio-resins to be used to reduce the number of fossil fuels to develop artificial chemicals for making wooden planks and boards, according to the researchers.

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