SCI and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) are hosting a one day meeting for people who want to learn more about the commercial potential of the next generation of biorenewable energy, materials and fuels based on biomass.
Every year around the world we produce more than 40 million tonnes of wood and agricultural residues. Converting just a fraction of this biomass into chemicals and fuels, like ethanol, could go a long way towards reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and wouldn’t take crops away from food production.
Woody, inedible biomass known as lignocellulose has a long history of being used to make energy but until now it hasn’t been possible to convert this vast renewable resource into more valuable things like chemicals and fuels. Lignocellulose is the combination of three natural polymers found in plant cell walls – lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose. Splitting up these polymers is difficult to do because they are tightly bound together, but new technological advances are helping us unlock the potential of lignocellulose.
Source: NNFCC, 2012-02-27.