Myrcene as a Natural Base Chemical in Sustainable Chemistry: A Critical Review

Authors

  • Arno Behr Prof.,

    1. Technische Universität Dortmund, Fakultät Bio- und Chemieingenieurwesen, Lehrstuhl Technische Chemie A, Emil-Figgestr. 66, 44227 Dortmund (Germany), Fax: (+49) 231-755-2310
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  • Leif Johnen

    1. Technische Universität Dortmund, Fakultät Bio- und Chemieingenieurwesen, Lehrstuhl Technische Chemie A, Emil-Figgestr. 66, 44227 Dortmund (Germany), Fax: (+49) 231-755-2310
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Abstract

Currently, a shift towards chemical products derived from renewable, biological feedstocks is observed more and more. However, substantial differences with traditional feedstocks, such as their “hyperfunctionalization,” ethical problems caused by competition with foods, and problems with a constant qualitative/quantitative availability of the natural products, occasionally complicate the large-scale market entry of renewable resources. In this context the vast family of terpenes is often not taken into consideration, although the terpenes have been known for hundreds of years as components of essential oils obtained from leaves, flowers, and fruits of many plants. The simple acyclic monoterpenes, particularly the industrially available myrcene, provide a classical chemistry similar to unsaturated hydrocarbons already known from oil and gas. Hence, this Review is aimed at reviving myrcene as a renewable compound suitable for sustainable chemistry in the area of fine chemicals. The versatility of the unsaturated C10-hydrocarbon myrcene, leading to products with several different areas of application, is pointed out.

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