BIOeCON is a newly independent privately funded venture, bringing together a network of top scientists and technologists in the field of the conversion of large hydrocarbon molecules.
The goal of BIOeCON is to use their expertise and skills to develop new technology to convert biomass, particularly the recalcitrant polymeric biomass residue, in a more efficient and cost-effective way to valuable molecules which can be utilized by the chemical and fuels industry.
The world is facing serious challenges in the decades ahead. The shortage of low cost energy is strongly influencing the world economy. The answer to this challenge is “Solar Energy”. There is enough solar energy, the question is how to capture, store and distribute this energy in the most cost-effective way.
Nature has been storing the energy via Photosynthesis in the form of biomass. Only about 1% of the solar energy is converted to terrestrial biomass of which about 1/3 is available for conversion to energy. Research in biomass growth and photosynthesis suggest that the efficiency can be improved up to 10%, while farming of the oceans can increase the total source of biomass even further in the future. Biomass can be considered as an intermediate solution to the time when we can directly farm the energy of the sun via artificial photosynthesis and/or a strongly improved photovoltaic technology.
At present only a small part of the available biomass is effectively used and a lot of biomass residue or waste is produced which can at best be utilized at its low heating fuel value. More effective conversion of biomass waste into higher value transportation fuels and chemicals is a must in order to make biomass an economical route for renewable fuels. What is required are low cost, large scale robust ecological biomass refining processes which can produce the right building blocks for the production of transportation fuels, polymers and/or other specialty chemicals.