December 14, 2012
The concept of the biorefinery is not new, however, with biofuel bottom lines being squeezed - the need to gain value from by-products is the current principal driver in the development of the modern biorefinery. A recent report by the IEA concluded that production costs of biofuels could be reduced by around 30% through the use of a biorefinery.
DuPont recently announced that they have started construction of a large cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in the USA, due to be completed by mid-2014. The plans for this $200 million facility, which will be among the first and largest commercial-scale cellulosic biorefineries in the world, have been in development for nearly 10 years, reinforcing the idea that the biorefinery concept is not a novel one, but does offer an attractive investment opportunity. With significant volumes of biofuels needed to meet policy specifications, it is becoming ever more important to develop the economic benefits achieved through the production of co-products.
The co-product from the DuPont biorefinery is a combustible material that can substitute coal in facilities that are currently burning this type of fossil fuel. A peer-reviewed life cycle assessment of the biorefinery and its supply chain indicates a potential rate of more than 100 % in reduced GHG emissions compared to conventional gasoline.
It is clear that there is investment interest when it comes to biorefinery co-products as Borregaard have recently won a grant to fund research into innovation projects looking at timber-based co-products. Borregaard, who have one of the world's most advanced and sustainable biorefineries, produces a number of co-products through their biorefinery based on timber feedstocks for use in concrete and other cellulose products. According to Lesprom, around 15% of Borregaard's turnover comes from new co-products that were not in existence five years ago, a demonstration of the successful innovations currently taking place within the biorefining industry.
Join Borregaard, the IEA and many others at the 8th World Biofuels Markets conference in Rotterdam will feature an entire day dedicated to scaling-up biorefinery facilities and production and expanding biorefinery markets – the key factors in implementing commercial scale biorefineries and optimising co-product production to bring down the cost of producing biofuels. Global thought leaders will debate the best ways to reach commercial scale, what new materials and chemicals can be produced from biomass and how best to improve efficiency and yield through operations.
The co-production of chemicals can generate the added value needed when the economics of producing biofuels alone can be challenging. According to the IEA report, the global bio-based chemical and polymer production rates are estimated to be around 50 million tonnes. The report also credits the recent climb in the price of oil and the consumer’s desire for greener products with the development in opportunities for bio-based chemicals, something which has spurred on investment interest in the sector.
Co-located with World Biofuels Markets is Bio-based Chemicals Conference which will unite leaders to accelerate commercialisation, innovation and market uptake. Join leading industry professionals from big chemical companies, end users, advanced biofuels companies, feedstock producers, technology providers and financiers to hear strategies for the bio-based economy, updates on recent collaborations, and discussions on commercial scale product realisation and join the end user debate as part of the 2013 agenda. Visit www.worldbiofuelsmarkets.com/biochem for more information.
World Biofuels Markets and Bio-based Chemicals, organised by Green Power Conferences, will be held on March 12-14 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The dedicated Biorefinery Platforms day will take place on March 12 and the Bio-based Chemicals Conference takes place on March 13 and 14.
For more information: www.worldbiofuelsmarkets.com/BiofineryPlatforms2013
Call: +44 (0)20 7099 0600
Or book online at www.worldbiofuelsmarkets.com
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