Tim Hanlon writes: Biofuels continue to steal the spotlight when it comes to the search for a renewable, environmentally friendly replacement for crude oil. While that's understandable when considering the transport industry, crude oil is also used in the production of conventional plastics and chemical products such as fertilizers and solvents. Now chemists have learned how to convert plant biomass directly into a chemical building block that can not only be used to produce fuel, but also plastics, polyester and industrial chemicals cheaply and efficiently.
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