While in Paris in March, I participated to a conference organised by my Engineering school where I gave a presentation on the importance of biodiversity for the private sector.
During this conference, I had the opportunity to learn more about the concept of Green Chemistry and where we stand in terms of development on new biotechnologies.
As part of the Green Chemistry there is the challenge to synthesis molecules from biomass instead of using the oil industry. This specific industrialisation is named Bio-Reffinery.
You have today already two generations of biomass. The first generation is the one we know coming from sugar and natural oil to mainly generate biofuel. The second generation is looking in using the maximum of the plant in order to generate molecules that could substitute molecules generated by the oil industry (e.g. polymer, aromas, etc.).
The results of these Bio-Reffineries are quite successful and a lot of researches are still going on to optimise the various processes. The optimisation of the processes is very important as the mobilisation of the natural resources is very important, therefore the land use is important and there is clearly a competition with the food needs.
Companies that work on these new biotechnologies might want, need to realise regular Life Cycle Analysis to ensure an effective use of the natural resources, its co-products, wastes, etc. As well, this kind of industries are highly using biodiversity and therefore they need to be aware of potential impact of their activities on biodiversity.