Biofuels/Biochemicals Biomass Conversion: New Technology for Biofuels and Biochemicals

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Biomass conversion, be it for biofuels or biochemicals, have drawn heavy flak following the course of the food vs. fuel debate. Now Direvo Industrial Biotechnology offers a new technology platform for the one-step conversion of non-food biomaterials to carbohydrates...

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Second generation biomass transformation processes make their way onto the markets.
Second generation biomass transformation processes make their way onto the markets.
(Picture: PROCESS India)

Cologogne/Germany – “After two years of extremely hard work, we are very excited to use our BluCon platform in solving global raw material supply and environmental concerns. Our technology will capture a significant share of the developing bio-based economy“, Direvo CEO Jorg Riesmeier explains. The BluCon technology is extremely flexible both for the type of feedstock and the resultant high value fuels and chemicals produced, the company explains.

In the recent years Direvo has undertaken a huge research program identifying a portfolio of proprietary microorganisms, which enable the lowest cost production of valuable chemicals from non-food biomass. Now the process is able to convert various non-food biomass ranging from grasses and straw to agricultural and wood residues. The technology can be used to produce transportation fuels like ethanol or chemical building blocks like lactic acid.

Second Generation Biomass Conversion Takes to the Market

BluCon is a so-called second generation biomass conversion technology: Contrary to first generation technology there is no need to use food feedstocks. The switch from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy is driven by global warming and by the finite nature of fossil fuels and sustainability. The gradual switch requires many new technologies at various levels.

Global Fuel Demand Could Nearly Double By 2050

On a global basis, the demand for transportation fuels and chemical building blocks will continue to increase for foreseeable future. By 2050 the World Energy Council (WEC) forecasts that global fuel demand could increase as much as 82% compared to 2010 levels. In combination with dwindling public acceptance of fossil-based raw materials, this will lead to a high need for biofuels and bioplastics.