In 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a report1  listing the most promising chemicals that could be produced from biomass. This report has served as a guiding document for the industry and is widely cited by researchers working on technical challenges associated with producing these chemicals at commercial scale. Many from academia, government, and industry have requested an update to this report focusing on the emerging area of biobased functional replacements and novel compounds. 

A strategy document on biobased novel compounds and functional replacements could take several forms, such as a description of the process for identifying targets or a list of promising biobased compounds. Regardless of the form, it will be difficult to produce a functional replacements/novel biobased compounds strategic plan without considerable research and development. As a result, the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) at DOE will seek input on what research and development is necessary for writing a functional replacements/novel biobased compounds strategic plan at a BETO-funded workshop held in Denver, Colorado, on June 1, 2017.

This workshop will solicit stakeholder feedback on several questions:

  1. Would a strategy document for bio-based novel compounds and functional replacements be useful? What would it look like?
  2. What is the best strategy for developing a bio-based novel compounds and functional replacements guiding document?
  3. What are the biggest challenges in identifying novel compounds and functional replacements?  
  4. What are the most critical properties to screen for when developing screening protocols?
  5. How can BETO best bridge the gap between those producing novel bio-based compounds and those who need novel compounds or replacements for their formulations? 

The discussion will be restricted to polymers, including biopolymers and polymers from novel monomers; small molecules like plasticizers, solvents, surfactants, and preservatives; and other building block chemicals. Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical targets are not of interest. 

Event Details

Embassy Suites by Hilton Denver International Airport
7001 Yampa Street
Denver, CO 80249

June 1, 2017
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Visit the event page to register. 

Contact Us

To submit additional topic areas of interest or for additional information, contact Nichole Fitzgerald (

1 T. Werpy and G. Petersen, eds., Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass, Volume I: Results of Screening for Potential Candidates from Sugars and Synthesis Gas (U.S. Department of Energy, 2004),