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Biobased Products to Dominate Biofuel Industry

The results of a poll conducted jointly by Biofuels Digest and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) have been released at an Advanced Biofuels Markets 2010 Conference conducted in San Francisco on 9th November 2010.

The poll titled ‘BIO/Biofuels Digest “11 Hot Trends for 2011’’ poll,’ reveals that Biobased products would be in most demand for 2011. According to Brent Erickson, Bio’s Executive Vice President, the biofuels industry is anticipating that more opportunities would be available for advanced biofuel producers to develop new projects based on the hope that the economy would recover. If the renewable chemicals and biobased products are produced as an additional stream, then they would be very attractive for renewable sector investors. The industry also deems that Congress should develop tax and energy policies that define the importance of the production of biofuels and biobased products as an energy security source and as a competitive fuel for the nation.

The poll had a list of 11 trends recommended by BIO’s members belonging to the Industrial and Environmental Section to start with. The respondents in the poll were asked to choose one out of the eleven as the hottest trend. They were also asked to point out the biofuel feedstocks that would exhibit the fastest growth rates and also choose which sector would be most interested in biofuels. Finally they were also asked to forecast if the Congress would discuss future industry financing and new energy legislations.

The poll conducted for more than 290 people, disclosed the 2011 top trends. Around 51% felt that the US Department of Defense would actively promote biofuel production as a secure source of fuel. More than 47.5 % i.e. half of the participants supposed that biofuel producers would be in charge of the development of biobased products while another 37% believed that the driver would be the new federal policies which would be formulated. Around 30% have the belief that development of biofuel refineries would be due to the federal policies and feel that the need for taking the lead in this sector while reacting to the measures carried out by other nations would be a contributing factor.

Feedstocks with high growth rates were declared to be woody biomass with 19%, algae with 23% and Municipal solid waste with 24% votes. 39% declared the Military as one most interested in biofuels closely followed by oil companies with 23% and chemical manufacturers with 20%. 41% of the respondents voted that no energy bill would be passed in 2011 while 27% envisaged that Congress would definitely pass an energy bill inclusive of tax provisions for biofuels and an added 17% foresaw a bill with significant support for biofuels. More than 43% were positive about the economy guessing that debt financing and capital would be available in 2011 for such kind of projects while 37% felt that biofuels would dominate the investment portfolio among renewables. 17% of people foresaw that venture funding would not be available anymore.


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