Renewable Bioproducts-A Chemists’ Perspective

In future research, developing materials from renewable resources would be fascinating yet demanding practice, which will have a direct impact on industrial applications, and economically viable alternatives. This talk presents a novel and emerging concept of generating new chemicals, intermediates and materials in a ‘Biorefinery’. Our continuous efforts in this area have led us to develop new amphiphiles and surfactants from industrial by-products such as cashew-nut-shell-liquid, which upon self-assembly produced nanoarchitectures including lipid nanotubes, twisted/helical nanofibers, low-molecular-weight gels and liquid crystals. More recently, harnessing the availability of ‘chiral pool’ of carbohydrates and selectivity of enzymes catalysis, we have produced an array of amphiphilic molecules from simple sugars such as amygdalin, trehalose, vitamin-C and sugar alcohols. The amygdalin amphiphiles showed unique gelation behaviour in a broad range of solvents; nonpolar hexanes to polar aqueous solutions. Importantly, an enzyme-triggered drug-delivery model for hydrophobic drugs was demonstrated by using these hierarchically assembled hydrogels. Intriguingly, by combining biocatalysis, with principles of green and supramolecular chemistry, we have developed building blocks-to-assembled materials. Also addresses the advances that have led to the understanding of chiral behaviour and the subsequent ability to control the structure of glycolipid nanostructures and gels, and the resulting impact of this on future material applications. The second part of the talk addresses the templated synthesis of nanoparticles using self-assembled soft materials. These results will lead to efficient molecular design of supramolecular architectures and soft nanomaterials from underutilized plant/crop-based renewable feedstock.