The Future of Fuels and Alternative Feedstocks – Recognizing Hype vs. Practical Limitations


William F. Banholzer
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
The Dow Chemical Company

Abstract: The world aspires for sources of energy and product feedstocks that are 100% sustainable in adequate amounts to support a high standard of living for all. The questions is whether these goals are practical.

Which new pathways and technologies will emerge to transform our situation? This question is addressed from the perspective of the chemical industry, which was built on oil, natural gas, and coal. These have served as the major raw material feedstocks and energy sources for driving reactions and separations. The industry is exploring new materials and solutions for energy supply and conversion.

Here we consider the mass and energy balances, capital investment and resource requirements of several key alternative energy and feedstock technologies. These considerations determine where we can expect realistic progress toward sustainable chemistry in both the short and long term, and where we should place our investments. 

Sponsored by Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and cSEND.