RSC - Chemical feedstocks for sustainable industry

The Applied Materials Chemistry Group (AMCG), the Industrial Physical Chemistry Group (IPCG), and the Innovation Centre for Applied Sustainable Technologies (iCAST) are delighted to announce a new one day seminar on sustainable chemical feedstocks. The event is a collaboration between industry and academia and will focus on three main topics: Sustainable Chemicals from Biomass Residues, End-of-Life Plastic Recycling, and Oleochemicals. We believe these topics are knit together by the idea of using materials that are not food-competitive, nor necessarily thought of as high value and generally under-utilised currently, but with a huge potential to improve sustainability. The speakers will be a balanced split between academia and industry, and there will be a focus on the practical and an honest appraisal of the benefits and pitfalls of the different technologies.

Session 1: Oleochemicals (organised and chaired by the IPCG):

Oleochemicals are a well-established, important, and growing sector of the chemical industry. Being based on renewable plant and animal feedstocks they are an attractive alternative to petrochemicals. However, despite being renewable, oleochemicals are not without challenges to truly be considered sustainable. Well-advertised sourcing issues exist in terms of deforestation and food competition, as well as challenges in accessing value across the entire chemical envelope. The aim of this session is to discuss innovation in the use, processing, and sourcing of oleochemicals, alongside insight into the economics of the oleochemical value chain.

Session 2: End-of-Life Plastic Recycling (organised and chaired by iCAST):

The end-of-life treatment of plastics is increasingly important to achieve a circular economy. Both chemical and mechanical recycling of polymers are valuable strategies to yield feedstocks from single-use commodity plastics such as polycarbonates and polyolefins and high-value/high-performance plastics such as polyamides, PEEK, polyoxymethylene and fluorinated polymers. This session explores sustainable approaches to recycling such materials and the growing interest in viable end-of-life strategies towards recycling composite materials.

Session 3: Sustainable Chemicals from Biomass Residues (organised and chaired by the AMCG):

The drive for the whole chemicals sector to become more sustainable relies on the ability to convert readily available and renewable feedstocks into products. However, the transition from petrochemical to biochemical feedstocks remains extremely challenging, particularly concerning the conversion of widely available, non-food biomass, such as forestry, aquaculture and agricultural residues, into valuable chemical building blocks. In this session, we will look at how industry is embracing the change to these bio-based feedstocks and how research is supporting the production of high-value intermediates from low-value residues to feed into established supply chains.

In addition to the three main sessions there will be a short poster pitch presentation session as well as a networking evening event the night before (30th November 2023)

  • Where: Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London
  • When: Friday 1 December 2023, 9AM-5.15PM