In the global bio-economy, the renewable materials supply chain usually starts with raw materials derived via extraction from plant matter, or from the fermentation of functional plant matter. The materials made via these routes generally fall into two categories, namely:
- Commercially available and chemically identical to materials made from petrochemicals or animal sources (such as vitamin D3 derived from sheep wool grease, and vitamin D3 extracted from lichen); and
- Novel materials which could function similarly in applications compared to commercially established materials of any origin (such as sophorolipid surfactants compared to alkyl polyglucosides).
Formulation chemistry is a process by which candidate materials are characterized, as a first step, for their physical properties and application attributes. Such materials are then presented in multivariate property tables with other functionally similar commercial materials. Formulation scientists usually work in conjunction with a marketing professional in order to determine best fit application rankings (based on value and functional competitive advantage) for the prospective materials versus existing materials. Once target applications have been identified, appropriate benchmark formulated products are procured and used for matching or exceeding the principal functional attributes with formulated product based on the use of the prospective renewable materials. The work of the formulation scientist is a combination of understanding and modeling multicomponent interactions in order to achieve desired outcomes with a heavy emphasis on empirical work, including efficacy testing and costing of prototype formulations until the benchmark attributes have been matched or exceeded.
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms certainly have experts in biomaterials and biochemicals as well as the more common areas like bio and renewable fuels, biomass and biomass power, feedstocks, and biotechnologies. These larger groups will also have expertise in other things like animal health products, aquaculture, bio-fertilizers, bio-fibers, biomass to sugars, bioplastics/polymers, enzymes, food ingredients, industrial chemicals, latex, lubricants, nanocarbon/cellulose, nutraceuticals, organometallics, rubber and solvents. At Lee Enterprising Consulting, our formulation chemistry experts can provide guidance on new product development with renewable materials and green chemistry. In some cases our experts have their own laboratories for creating novel formulations.Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 100 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.