During a keynote address at the BIO World Congress conference, Steen Riisgaard, CEO of Novozymes, unveiled a new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) which concludes that converting biomass into fuels, energy, and chemicals has the potential to generate upwards of US$ 230 billion to the global economy by 2020, the majority of which will be in the US.
The report also found that with expanded large-scale biorefinery production, dependence on fossil fuels could be dramatically reduced, which has always been a long term goal of the United states given their current dependence on imported fossil fuels. The report, “The Future of Industrial Biorefineries,” was commissioned by the World Economic Forum with participation from Novozymes, Braskem, Royal DSM NV and Dupont, and conducted by McKinsey & Company.
"We need an energy replacement that comes at oil's low price, but without its high environmental cost,” said Riisgaard. “Over time, cars, trucks, and even airplanes are going to run on sustainable low-carbon fuels derived from biomass. Plastics and chemicals will be made from plants rather than petroleum. As a result, biorefineries will infuse billions of dollars into the economy and create more than 800,000 new jobs."
Today, the biorefinery industry is in early development, however government and businesses across a range of sectors are recognising the potential boom in biorefining that exists. For example, by the year 2020:
- The biofuels market alone is estimated to more than triple by 2020, with combined sales of US$ 95 billion.
- The demand for biomass to generate heat and power is expected to more than double.
- Bio-based products will accumulate US$ 15 billion in revenues.
- Bio-based chemicals are expected to grow significantly and increase its share in overall chemicals production to an estimated nine percent of all chemicals
- Production of biomass within the farm gate is estimated at $90 billion—the largest business potential in the value chain.
But Riisgaard did point out that though the US is currently ahead of the game, they need to build on progress they have already made to maintain their lead.
Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/gas-processing/01072010/agriculture_and_bio_industries_to_generate_us$_230_billion/