Not All Chemicals Are Created Equal™

For obvious reasons, the bio-chemicals industry has focused much of its time and energy answering the question, “Can this be done… is this possible?” More specifically, can chemicals made from renewable feedstocks be produced and can they be brought to commercial scale at competitive prices in sufficient volume without a green premium? But as we and others in the industry are proving this, it has revealed the next challenge to be met if we’re to seize the full opportunity at hand. The challenge? Logistics: The shipping, handling, storing and pre-treating of biomass for use as feedstock in bio-based processes

To this end, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is fostering a biomass feedstock research and development program focused on four primary logistical interests: Harvest and Collection, Preprocessing, Storage and Queuing, and Handling and Transportation. Here at the DOE’s Biomass Program website page you can access a very deft overview of the important factors being studied in each of the four categories.

The DOE’s R&D on this topic is extremely useful and will, ultimately, if the study can be sufficiently funded, help to lower cellulosic biomass costs. That, of course, means that already cost-competitive bio-chemical alternatives to petroleum-based chemicals can achieve even better economies which will speed market adoption and grow market share.