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  1. Vol. 50 No. Supplement_1, p. S-152-S-156
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    Received: Oct 2, 2009
    Published: Mar, 2010


    * Corresponding author(s): Rajni.Hatti-Kaul@biotek.lu.se
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2009.10.0563

Biorefineries– A Path to Sustainability?

  1. Rajni Hatti-Kaul *
  1. Dep. of Biotechnology, Lund Univ., Box 124, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden

Abstract

Biorefining of crops for production of power, transport fuels, and a diverse array of chemicals has potential for providing significant added economic value to biomass. A shift in the industrial resource base from fossil resources to biomass also requires a shift in the technology base for producing, handling, and processing of raw materials. Biotechnology will play an important role in providing tools for different stages ranging from biomass production, treatment, and valorization to various products. First generation refineries have raised some critical issues related to land use and insufficient environmental benefits due to energy-intensive cultivation of crops. The abundant residual lignocellulosic biomass will constitute an important feedstock for the future biorefineries so as to have a minimal impact on the food availability. Necessary investments in technological development will be needed to realize the benefits of the new bioeconomy in the long term.

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