Facts, Growth, and Opportunities in Industrial Biotechnology
There exists today a desire to advance the global bioeconomy through creating integrated biorefineries which serve to produce sustainable biochemicals from flexible feedstocks. Biomaterials and biopolymers from renewable chemicals are a market reality and have consumer demand, more so now than ever before, from new innovative approaches which lower the carbon footprint. Newly constructed biorefineries deploy innovative, sustainable technologies to complement the traditional energy, chemical, and plastics industries. Manufacturing facilities are producing first-generation biofuels, technical approaches are being sought to produce second-generation renewable biofuels from cellulosics, and research continues to accelerate in advanced biofuels which would give rise to the possibility of more stable molecules having improved performance properties beyond bioethanol. The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for transportation fuels set minimum levels of renewable fuels that must be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels from 2006 to 2022. Specific requirements for blending advanced biofuels, including cellulosic biofuels and biomass-based biodiesel fuel, begin at 0.6 billion gallons per year in 2009 and rise to 21 billion gallons in 2022. The RFS levels for advanced biofuels production will drive the creation of a major new industry, creating a foundation for future technology development and commercial growth.3 Algaebased fuel technology is advancing rapidly toward commercial- scale viability. Commercial production of algaebased fuels will greatly enhance our country’s energy and environmental security.