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Charles-Philippe LIENEMANN

Charles-Philippe Lienemann - Scientific Advisor at the Physics and Analysis Division
Charles-Philippe Lienemann graduated at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) in 1993. He then joined University of Lausanne (Switzerland) within the group of D. Perret and Prof. J-C. Bünzli for his
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Research engineer / Project manager
Nicolas Ferrando graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Ingénieurs en Génie Chimique (Toulouse) with a Chemical Engineering degree, followed by a PhD in Chemistry from Université Paris XI. He
Issues and Foresight

Bio-based chemistry

Bio-based chemistry is chemistry in which fossil resources are partially or completely replaced by resources derived from biomass. In particular, it helps limit reliance on fossil resources for the production of certain types of products and reduces the environmental footprint of these products.





Bio-based chemistry
Innovation and Industry

Bio-based chemistry


The development of base material production processes for the chemicals sector using biomass addresses a triple objective:

  • use renewable raw materials in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and tackle climate change,
  • contribute to the development of a circular economy,
  • reduce the chemical sector's reliance on oil

While still emerging, the bio-based product market is nonetheless enjoying strong growth, driven by:

  • consumers’ increasing interest in more sustainable consumer goods,
  • the increased efforts of industry and brands to propose 100% bio-PET packaging and 100% bio-nylon textile fibers,
  • the threats of a deficit in the global supply of olefins (propylene and butadiene, in particular) and some highly sought-after aromatics (benzene), encouraging recourse to new raw materials and new production processes.

The production of major olefin-based and oxygenated intermediates (polyols, diacids) and polymers from lignocellulosic biomass is under way. For example, bioethylene and its derivatives (mono-ethylene glycol, in particular), lactic and polylactic acid, 1,4-butanediol, succinic acid and bioisobutanol, which provide access to numerous biobased derivatives, are already produced on a commercial scale.

The challenges for the large-scale deployment of bio-based chemistry concern:

  • production costs relative to oil-based processes,
  • security of access to the resource and the development of supply sectors,
  • the construction of bio-refineries exploiting synergies between various biomass conversions, for example between biofuel production and bioproduct production,
  • the design of chemically recyclable products.

The market also remains heavily dependent on key economic and political factors:

  • oil price changes, likely to promote - or otherwise - the deployment of bio-based intermediate production capacities,
  • the absence, or conversely the introduction, of public and regulatory incentives.

Today, bio-based chemistry is considered to represent a realistic option for producing the majority of the chemicals currently derived from fossil resources, particularly for the manufacture of plastics.

Despite estimated average annual growth rate of 10% through to 2035, bio-based plastics are still only likely to represent 1.7% of plastics produced globally by that time.

Developing chemical intermediate production processes based on renewable raw materials.

Our solutions                Our strengths


Renewable energies
Innovation and Industry

Renewable energies

The energy transition and tackling climate change depend on the development of new renewable resources. IFPEN proposes processes for the production of fuels, bases for the chemicals sector and gas from biomass. IFPEN also uses its expertise acquired in the field of oil and gas to offer solutions for the industrial deployment of offshore wind energy, ocean energies and geothermal energy. 


Issue 29 Science@ifpen
News in brief

Biomethane production: a lever for the circular economy!

The development of methanisation sectors is part of a drive to create a circular economy that simultaneously serves three purposes: treat waste, supply energy (biogasa), and produce fertilizers