View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 1.

Main development perspective of biobased products.

Product Feedstocks Marketsize Market price Potential biobased share Potential biobased production size Potential impact for local producers Potential local employment Prospects for development
Pharmaceuticals Selective crops Very small Very high Very high Very low Very low Very poor
Bulk chemicals Starch, sugar crops, proteins Very large Low Modest Very low Very low Poor to modest
Fine chemicals Oil, starch, sugar crops, straw Very small Average to good Low Low Modest Very limited Modest to good
Solvents Oil, starch, sugar crops, straw Small Low Very low Very low Very low Very limited Very poor
Surfactants Various Small Low Modest Low Low Very limited Poor
Lubricants Oil crops Very small Low Modest to high Low Low Good Modest to good
Polymers Mostly starch & sugar crops Very large Very low Low Modest Very low Very limited Very limited
Fibers Lignocellulosic crops, residues, grasses Modest Rather low Low Modest Low Good Modest to good
Source: composed by the authors using data on market size and price and projections of potential market share and size as well as expected perspectives (employment, income) for local biomass producers and laborers.

View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 2.

Main characteristics of major biorefinery types.

Biorefinery Feedstock & conversion Impacts Remarks
Whole crop biorefinery Cereal crops, dry or wet milling Link to monomer and polymer production, but large scale production leads to competition with food production. Straw applicable to lignocellulosic biorefinery. Mainly from maize, wheat. Moderately capital intensive.
Oleochemical feedstock biorefinery Oil crops (rape seed, soybean, oil palm) Links to production of chemicals, functional monomers, lubricants, and surfactants. Direct competition with food. Close to full commer-cialization. Capital intensity is moderate.
Lignocellulosic biorefinery Lignocellulosic crops, residues of food & feed crops Reduced competition with food, feed production, high water use efficiency, high potential for GHG emission reduction. Not yet on commercial scale. Capital intensive.
Green Biorefinery Mainly grass Links to production of proteins, sugars and fibers. No direct competition with food. R&D phase.
Source: Kamm et al. (2006), Wolf et al. (2005), De Jong et al. (2009)