Conclusions and the Way Forward

It is clear that second generation bioethanol can have a more favorable GHG balance. They do not have any effect on food security as they use resources which do affect food supply. The use of grasses or other invasive plants or the use of genetically modified non-food and feed crops could make them more acceptable. However, the technological barriers have to be overcome to make the process cost — effective as compared to gasoline. A mix of different existing and innovative options and a rise in costs of fossil fuels may accelerate the drive toward second generation biofuels, especially bioethanol.

The biorefining concept will develop to the expected potential if there are no dramatic changes in the energy production sector and carbon sequestration remains a challenge. The variability of the products streams’ from biochemical conversion, often intermediate products, has to be reduced. Integration into the existing chemical production plants or new chemical streams producing a whole new line of chemicals may be developed.

A combination of bioconversion and chemical processes can lead to a wide spectrum of products that can be used as solvents, fiber, and new polymers with different functional characteristics. With the continued expansion of this sector, it will be prudent for industry to develop a niche for themselves, while the market is still expanding.


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