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Niche Position and Opportunities for Woody Biomass Conversion

For centuries, humans used plant biomass as food and heat, but use of biomass for fuel and chemicals was largely displaced by fossil sources after the commercial utilization of coal, and more recently petroleum and natural gas. Fossil sources have certain advantages over biomass in terms of energy density, shipping, and storage. However, fossil fuel combustion by a rapidly expanding world population over the past century has led to sharp increases in atmospheric CO2, and may very well be linked to human-induced climate change. Moreover, petroleum is an unsustainable energy source; even the most conservative projections indicate crude oil reserves will be depleted by the year 2100 (1). Rebuilding the potential of biomass as a renewable source of materials and cleaner energy is imperative to the sustainability of human civilization. Commercial deployment of lignocellulosic-based biorefinery technology, making full use of all available forest materials, woody biomass crops, perennial grasses, and agricultural residues, is the niche opportunity pathway in woody biomass conversion for ABS Process™ Biorefinery Technology, incorporating Hot Water Extraction™ cooking to contribute toward sustainable world development. A critical factor in defining the success of this process may be integration of lignin products into the product portfolio.

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Print publication date
29 Nov 2012
Copyright year
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From the book series:
Green Chemistry Series