Authors: Iglesias, J; Martinez-Salazar, I; Maireles-Torres, P; Alonso, DM; Mariscal, R; Granados, ML

Chem. Soc. Rev.. vol: 49. page: 0306-0012.
Date: AUG 21. 2020.
Doi: 10.1039/d0cs00177e.

Polymers are ubiquitously present in our daily life because they can meet a wide range of needs and fields of applications. This success, based on an irresponsible linear consumption of plastics and the access to cheap oil, is creating serious environmental problems. Two lines of actions are needed to cope with them: to adopt a circular consumption of plastics and to produce renewable carbon-neutral monomers. This review analyses the recent advances in the chemocatalytic processes for producing biomass-derived carboxylic acids. These renewable carboxylic acids are involved in the synthesis of relevant general purpose and specialty polyesters and polyamides; some of them are currently derived from oil, while others can become surrogates of petrochemical polymers due to their excellent performance properties. Polyesters and polyamides are very suitable to be depolymerised to other valuable chemicals or to their constituent monomers, what facilitates the circular reutilisation of these monomers. Different types of carboxylic acids have been included in this review: monocarboxylic acids (like glycolic, lactic, hydroxypropanoic, methyl vinyl glycolic, methyl-4-methoxy-2-hydroxybutanoic, 2,5-dihydroxypent-3-enoic, 2,5,6-trihydroxyhex-3-enoic acids, diphenolic, acrylic and delta-amino levulinic acids), dicarboxylic acids (2,5-furandicarboxylic, maleic, succinic, adipic and terephthalic acids) and sugar acids (like gluconic and glucaric acids). The review evaluates the technology status and the advantages and drawbacks of each route in terms of feedstock, reaction pathways, catalysts and economic and environmental evaluation. The prospects and the new research that should be undertaken to overcome the main problems threatening their economic viability or the weaknesses that prevent their commercial implementation have also been underlined..