17 - Polymers from plants: Biomass fixed carbon dioxide as a resource

Janet L. Scott, Antoine Buchard

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

7 Citations (SciVal)


Plants fix carbon dioxide during photosynthesis converting inorganic carbon to complex organic molecules, which can provide a rich source of chemicals, particularly for use in the polymer industry. Thus, replacement of fossil-carbon-derived polymeric materials with those derived from renewable biomass offers an opportunity to “borrow” Nature's fixed CO2 and potentially mitigate CO2 emissions arising from conversion of fossil oil or gas into plastics, for example. To ensure that one source of greenhouse gas emissions is not simply replaced with another, careful metrics are required to measure environmental impacts, emissions, and energy and water use. Renewable biomass as a source of biopolymers, or chemicals for the polymer industry can contribute to the Circular Economy, but again, careful measurement and holistic view of impacts are required.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging Global Warming
EditorsTrevor M. Letcher
PublisherElsevier Academic Press Inc
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-814104-5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Plants
  • Biomass
  • CO fixation
  • Renewable polymers
  • Oils
  • Sugars
  • Terpenes
  • Cellulose
  • Lignin
  • Circular Economy


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