Press Releases

Biorefinery Technologies Markets on the Move Toward a Greener Economy

July 19, 2016

Wellesley, Mass., Jul 19, 2016 – 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. BCC Research reveals in its new report that significant movement is under way to globally transition from the current fossil-based economy to a more sustainable one based on biomass feedstocks.

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. Biorefinery technologies encompass four main platforms: physicochemical, biological, thermochemical and hybrids.

The global market for biorefinery technologies should increase at a five-year (2016-2021) compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9% to reach $714.6 billion in 2021.

Physicochemical platform as a segment is expected to increase at a five-year CAGR of 8.5% to reach $274.7 billion in 2021. This technology platform includes processes (e.g., pressing, pretreatment, milling, separation, distillation) that do not change the chemical structure of biomass components, but perform a size reduction or a separation of feedstock components and chemical processes (e.g., hydrolysis, transesterification, hydrogenation, oxidation, pulping) in which chemical changes in substrates occur without a change in structure.

Biological platform as a segment, the largest platform, should increase at a five-year CAGR of 8.9% to reach $376.4 billion in 2021. Industrial biotechnology, a key driver of this technology, includes processes such as biotransformation drugs, anaerobic digestion, fermentation, enzymatic conversion, microbes, algae and genetic modifications, which occur under mild operating conditions (lower temperature and pressure). An advantage of the biological technology platform is that techniques under it can also be used to produce higher value chemicals that are a more attractive value proposition than biofuels, in the near term.

Thermochemical platform as a segment is expected to increase at a five-year CAGR of 10.2% to total $50.1 billion in 2021. This includes processes (e.g., pyrolysis, gasification, hydrothermal upgrading and combustion) in which biomass feedstock undergoes extreme conditions (e.g., high temperature and/or pressure, with or without catalytic means).  The market for hybrid platforms is expected to increase at a five-year CAGR of 10.3% to reach $13.4 billion in 2021.

“The biological technology platform, which dominates the market with an estimated share of 52.6% in 2016, should attain a market share of 52.7% in 2021,” says BCC Research analyst Edward Gobina. “The physicochemical technology platform, which holds an estimated market share of 39.1% in 2016, should fall slightly to 38.4% in 2021. The market share for the thermochemical technology should rise to 7% in 2021 while the smallest platform segment, hybrid technology, should increase slightly from an estimated 1.8% in 2016 to 1.9% in 2021.”

Biorefinery Technologies: Global Markets (EGY054C) analyzes the techno-economic and environmental analysis of industrial biorefineries. The report examines biomass fractionation and conversion technologies and forecasts biomass conversion processes and equipment. Global market drivers and trends, with data from 2015, 2016, and projections of CAGRs through 2021 also are provided.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at steven.cumming@bccresearch.com.

Biorefinery Technologies: Global Markets( EGY054C )
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