Biomass conversion could open 295bn US-$ market by 2030
Geneva – Conversion of biomass to biofuels, chemicals, energy and heat has the potential to create a US$295 bn market by the year 2030 and create 800,000 new jobs, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The report, published in co-operation with the industrial biotechnology companies Royal DSM, Novozymes, the chemical corporation DuPont and the plastics manufacturer Braskem, sees huge potential particularly in building biorefineries that convert renewable resources carbon dioxide neutrally into energy, biofuels, chemicals and bioplastics. The report „The Future of Industrial Biorefinieries“ estimates that creation of a biomass value chain can generate revenues of US$15m for agricultural inputs, US$89bn for biomass production, US-$30 for biomass trading, US-$ 10bn for berefining inputs, US-$ 80 bn for fermentation of biofuels, US$6bn for bioplastic production, and US$65bn for biomass-based power and heat. However, the report also says that high investment and infrastructure costs as well as restricted availability of biomass could hamper biomass conversion to become a commercial success at the industry scale. On the other side, biorefineries have the potential to reshape today’s industrial landscape.“ We are at the doorstep of a transition to a greener, more sustainable future, with the bio-based economy as the key enabler“ commented Feike Sijbesma, CEO of DSM, the world leader in fermentative biomass conversion. The report confirms he need for biomass replacement that comes at oil’s low prices but without the high cost.“ Said Stehen Rijsgaard, CEO of Novozymes, the world champion in enzyme technology. Braskem is planning a production site in Brazil to produce biobased polyethylene at 200.000 metric tons per year. DuPont has produced the platform chemical 1,3 propane diol (PDO) on an industrial scale since 2006, while Novozymes has developed an enzyme cocktail for biofuel production from wood waste and grass.