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Biorefinery Technologies: Global Markets

  • July 2016
  • -
  • BCC Research
  • -
  • 121 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

This BCC Research report provides a critical evaluation of the current status of commercial biorefinery markets and the ways in which recent environmental legislation and breakthroughs in technology will make use of biobased products competitive with established petro-based platforms. Forecasts provided from 2016 to 2018.

Use this report to:

Analyze the biorefinery technologies market through four main platforms i.e. physicochemical, biological, thermochemical and hybrids.
Analyze the development of advanced biorefinery technologies and process developments.
Gain insight into macroeconomic aspects and energy perspective and geographical diversification of the major international trends.
Analyze the future of the regulation and legislation of the biorefinery industry

Highlights

The global market for biorefinery technologies will grow from $466.6 billion in 2016 to $714.6 billion by 2021, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9% for the period of 2016-2021.
The biological market will grow from $245.3 billion in 2016 to $376.4 billion by 2021, rising at a CAGR of 8.9%.
The physicochemical market is expected to increase from $182.3 billion in 2016 to $274.7 billion by 2021 with a CAGR of 8.5%.

STUDY GOAL AND OBJECTIVES

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that global food wastage is about 1.6 gigatonnes of “primary product equivalents,” while the total edible part of food wasted is 1.3 gigatonnes, with 54% of this waste occurring before processing.

This equates to a direct global economic cost of $750 billion per year. Total agricultural production globally (for both food and non-food uses) is about 6 gigatonnes. This means that nearly one-third of all global agricultural production is wasted. In industry, biorefineries employ technologies in which biomass is converted into useful intermediates for fuels, energy, chemicals and non-food herbal/botanical compounds by direct combustion as well as by thermal, chemical and biological processes.
Thermal processes involve heating the biomass material. Chemical processes involve breaking down or converting biomass feedstock through chemical reactions, membranes, metal catalysts and other physical separation technologies. Biological conversion technologies use microbiological and/or enzymatic action to convert the biomass material into usable fuel and other bioproducts.

The objectives of this BCC Research report are to:

Identify and communicate critical needs for building scientific and engineering capabilities for the conversion of biorenewables to fuels, chemicals and other value-added products such as polymers.
Assess the current state of chemical catalysts (i.e., heterogeneous and homogeneous) and biocatalyst science and technology applicable to biorenewables.
Identify research and workforce needs to prepare scientists and engineers for a biorenewable-based chemical, fuel and material industry.
Develop and prioritize goals and directions for the development of effective conversion technologies, including the integration of physicochemical, thermochemical and biochemical catalysis in future biorefinery.
Quantify the conversion technology market and identify global diversification of biorefinery feedstocks.
Provide a critical evaluation of the current status of the commercial biorefinery markets and the ways in which recent environmental legislation and breakthroughs in technology will make the use of bio-based products competitive with established petro-based platforms.
Assess the technological competencies of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies and plant owners who are global entities whose experience and technological improvements will not be restricted by national borders.

REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY

An important change recorded in the energy market from 2014 to 2016 has been the unexpected sudden plunge in world crude oil prices and, to a lesser extent, coal and natural gas prices. After a relatively sustained period of high and stable prices, oil prices dropped to below $50 per barrel in early-2015 from over $100 per barrel in mid-2014. Oil prices plunged further to below $40 per barrel at the end of 2015 after OPEC failed to agree to a cut in production quotas in the face of slumping oil prices and a mounting global supply glut. By the end of the second week in Jan. 2016, the price of crude had dropped to below $30 per barrel, the lowest since Feb. 2004 amid increasing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the slowing Chinese economy. The decline in oil price is expected to affect the biorefinery sector, which is likely to experience mixed impacts. On a macroeconomic level, low oil prices are generally not good for biorefineries, especially if the low crude prices also coincide with low feedstock prices.
Natural gas prices have also declined, but the rate and extent depended on the prevailing gas pricing mechanisms and regional diversification factors: in the United States, natural gas prices fell to below $3 per million British thermal units (MBtu) in early-2015 from a high of $4 per MBtu in mid-2014; in Germany the price of imported natural gas moved from $8.5 per MBtu during the summer of 2014 to below $8 per MBtu in early 2015, while in Japan the average price of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is a weighted average of the long-term contracts and spot trading, declined from $16 per MBtu in mid-2014 to around $15 per MBtu in early 2015. Coal prices of in northwest Europe declined to around $60 per metric ton at the start of 2015 from $73 per metric ton in mid-2014, mostly due to the ongoing overcapacity in the region.

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