Bio Adipic Acid Prospective Life-Cycle Assessment

Achille Laurent, Yvonne van der Meer

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Session 1: Sustainable Innovation through New Technologies & Materials
Abstract 2 | Bio Adipic Acid Prospective Life-Cycle Assessment

Adipic acid is a white crystalline solid which is a versatile building block. It has many applications, such as the manufacture of synthetic fibers, plastics, synthetic lubricants, food additives, pharmaceuticals. Nylon (nylon-6/6) is the largest market holding 57% of the global AA production (IHS Markit, 2017). Therefore the expansion of this global AA production follows the net increase of the nylon textile demand. Although AA production was 1.8 million metric tons in 1995, it exceeded expectation by rising to nearly 2.7 million metric tons in 2000. In the next five years, world consumption is expected to slow to an average rate of 2.2% per year to reach a global production of 3.6 million metric tons in 2022 (Global Industry Analysts, 2016).
N2O emissions from nitric and adipic acid plants account for about 5% of anthropogenic N2O emissions (IPCC, 2007). Additionally N2O is a powerful greenhouse gas with a global warming potential equivalent at 265 times the CO2 reference. These motivated the development of production of AA based on renewable resources such as lignocellulosic biomass (Vyver and Román-Leshkov, 2013). Indeed, reducing environmental impact, such as climate change, is one of the major challenges of today’s society. Development of bio-based products, such as biofuels and biochemical products, can reduce the petroleum dependence as well as greenhouse gas emissions simultaneously (Patel et al., 2005). In order to determine the potential reduction, Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a recognized and a standardized methodology to quantify the environmental impacts of a product or a service, ISO 14044. LCA has the advantage of considering the entire life cycle of the product, with some bio-based materials have been assessed using the LCA methodology (Patel et al., 2005). This is why an LCA was integrated in the LA2AA project. This project aims to upscaling bio-based AA production from Levulinic Acid (LA) conversion, which is extracted from wood biomass. The presentation aims to show the assessment based on the results of the LA2AA project. It also shows the results on the potential environmental impacts of the production of AA via the LA route. Moreover, this analysis led to the generation of several scenarios in order to estimate the influence of the locations of the production sites.

Global Industry Analysts, 2016. Adipic Acid Market Trends.
IHS Markit, 2017. Chemical Economics Handbook.
IPCC, 2007. Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 (AR4). IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland.
Patel, M.K., Bastioli, C., Marini, L., Wurdinger, E., 2005. Life-cycle Assessment of Biobased Polymers and Natural Fiber Composites.
Vyver, S.V. de, Román-Leshkov, Y., 2013. Emerging catalytic processes for the production of adipic acid. Catal. Sci. Technol. 3, 1465–1479. doi:10.1039/C3CY20728E

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
EventLife Cycle Innovation Conference - Tagungswerk Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Duration: 29 Aug 201831 Aug 2018
Conference number: 2018


ConferenceLife Cycle Innovation Conference
Abbreviated titleLCIC
Internet address


  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • biobased materials
  • greenhouse gas emissions

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