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A biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, and chemicals from biomass. The biorefinery concept is analogous to today's petroleum refineries, which produce multiple fuels and products from petroleum. Industrial biorefineries have been identified as the most promising route to the creation of a new domestic biobased industry.
By producing multiple products, a biorefinery can take advantage of the differences in biomass components and intermediates and maximize the value derived from the biomass feedstock. A biorefinery might, for example, produce one or several low-volume, but high-value, chemical products and a low-value, but high-volume liquid transportation fuel, while generating electricity and process heat for its own use and perhaps enough for sale of electricity. The high-value products enhance profitability, the high-volume fuel helps meet national energy needs, and the power production reduces costs and avoids greenhouse-gas emissions.
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Importance and scope:
A biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, heat, and value-added chemicals from biomass. The biorefinery concept is analogous to today's petroleum refinery, which produce multiple fuels and products from petroleum. The International Energy Agency Bioenergy Task 42 on Biorefineries has defined biorefining as the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of bio-based products (food, feed, chemicals, materials) and bioenergy (biofuels, power and/or heat). By producing multiple products, a biorefinery takes advantage of the various components in biomass and their intermediates therefore maximizing the value derived from the biomass feedstock. A biorefinery could, for example, produce one or several low-volume, but high-value, chemical or nutraceutical products and a low-value, but high-volume liquid transportation fuel such as biodiesel or bioethanol (see also alcohol fuel). At the same time generating electricity and process heat, through combined heat and power (CHP) technology, for its own use and perhaps enough for sale of electricity to the local utility. The high-value products increase profitability, the high-volume fuel helps meet energy needs, and the power production helps to lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from traditional power plant facilities. Although some facilities exist that can be called bio-refineries, the bio-refinery has yet to be fully realized. Future biorefineries may play a major role in producing chemicals and materials that are traditionally produced from petroleum.
The global market for biorefinery technologies reached $342.8 billion in 2012. This market is expected to grow to $387.8 billion in 2013 and $700.7 billion in 2018 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% for the five-year period, 2013 to 2018. BCC Research estimates that the global demand for bioproducts will increase at a double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% over the next five years to reach $700.7 billion in 2018 from $387.6 billion in 2013, when it will attain a market penetration rate of 5.5% in 2018, from an estimated rate of 4.2% in 2013. A complete techno-economic and environmental analysis of industrial biorefineries, which have been identified as the most promising route to the creation of a domestic bio-based industry Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2011 and 2012, estimates for 2013, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) for the five year period, 2013 to 2018.
September 01-03, 2016 Sao Paulo, Brazil.
October 10-12, 2016 Dubai, UAE
August 01-03, 2016 Birmingham, UK
Sustainable Bioplastics Conference
November 10-12, 2016 Alicante, Spain
18th Renewable Resources and Biorefineries
January 18 - 19, 2016, London, United Kingdom
Biomass conference and Expo
April 11-14, 2016, Charlotte, USA
12th International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries
May 30–31 and 1 June, 2016, Ghent, Belgium
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This page was last updated on January 27, 2023