Sustainability metrics for succinic acid production: A comparison between biomass-based and petrochemical routes
•Two fermentative processes for SA production are studied and compared with the petrochemical route.•Four metrics parameters have been considered for evaluation.•Results show that bio-based SA production is competitive with petrochemical route.•Competitiveness of Bio-SA can be boosted by process optimization and Bio-SA upgrading to chemicals.
Biomass-derived succinic acid (Bio-SA) has been described as a strategic platform chemical, due to its potential as the C4 building block in industrial organic chemistry. Sustainability of SA production via fermentative synthesis was studied through two different processes (Myriant and Reverdia cases) and compared with the corresponding petrochemical route. Four groups of parameters, namely material efficiency, economics, energy efficiency and land use were considered. Green metrics results show that energy efficiency for Bio-SA production is slightly higher while material efficiency is rather lower when compared with the petrochemical counterpart. Remarkably, Bio-SA calculated costs (≈1040€/MT in the worse case) are quite lower than the actual prices for Petr.SA and close to the price of maleic anhydride used as raw material. Thus, bio-based SA production appears to be competitive with petrochemical route for MAN. Competitiveness of Bio-SA can be boosted by optimization of fermentative process, as well as by the Bio-SA upgrading to high added value chemicals.
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Journal: Catalysis Today - Volume 239, 1 January 2015, Pages 17–24