According to the International Energy Agency, by 2050, 27% of the world’s transport fuels will be biofuels.
Improving the costs and effectiveness of biofuel production is crucial considering the significant role it is expected to play in the global energy use.
The industry will have to implement 2nd. and 3erd. generation technologies in order to replace simple-starch’s sugar feedstocks ( Corn-Sugar Cane) with biomass and waste material from the forestry and agricultural industries. Corn and Sugar Cane will be needed to feed the continuous growth in the world’s population.
Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have published a study identifying the two main challenges to produce 2nd generation low-cost biofuels able to compete and replace hydrocarbons:
1. Creation of microbial cell factories that will produce microorganism capable of effectively breaking the cross-linked lignin hemicellulose in cell walls of fiber and woody plant materials.
2. Improving the efficacy of the hydrolysis process that converts biomass to sugars for fermentation.
The study titled “Barriers and Opportunities in bio-based production of hydrocarbons” attempts to offer solutions to the identified challenges including synthetic biology technologies.
The company believes that using energy management techniques for the combined heat and power (“CHP”) required throughout the production of biofuels will have the largest impact on the ability to effectively replace hydrocarbons. New generation plants CHP energy, will incorporate design and engineering to deploy low-cost non-hydrocarbon renewable bioenergy.
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