Sugarcane Biorefineries. The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil. Sheikh Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabia oil minister. Integrated biorefineries. By 2050 75% of $2,000 billion chemical industry biobased
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Sugarcane Biorefineries The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil. Sheikh Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabia oil minister
Integrated biorefineries • By 2050 • 75% of $2,000 billion chemical industry biobased • Large opportunities for all participants in the value-chain, including suppliers of renewable resources • Biobased versus inorganic catalysis • High yield, purity and specificity • Water-based, low T, low P • New product spectrum • Large reduction in environmental compliance costs
Why bioproducts (DuPont)? • Renewable & widespread sustainable and reliable resource • Low toxicity & flammability inherent safe and benign process • Good raw material economics comparable to petrochemicals • Unique & rich functionality novel materials, oxygen built-in • Requires new technology opportunities for proprietary position • Chad says so: “25% renewable in 2010”
Requirements • Cost efficient raw materials • Carbon, energy and water • Efficient catalysis • Enzymatic catalysis, fermentation, in planta • Efficient separation processes • Water based separation • Smart system integration • Capital utilization for smaller plants • New integrated product model
Criteria for a good feedstock • Perennial crop • Reduced mechanical input • High biomass density • Reduced transport energy • High water efficiency • High fertilizer efficiency • Reduced energy input and environmental impact • Readily processed • Reduced process energy input and capital costs • Inexpensive relative to quality • Supply of energy for processing
Feedstock versus process Renewable source of process energy is as important as feedstock in developing bio-based products. Sugarcane has a unique advantage through bagasse.
PLA production Corn Gluten Oil 28.4+5.3 MJ Corn 8.8+0.6 MJ Wet-milling enz hydrolysis 12.8+0.4 MJ 14.9+11.4 MJ Sug LA PLA polymerisation fermentation purification Cane crushing gypsum biomass Fibre 32 MJ Cane
Lignocellulosic ethanol • Bagasse is to sugar as coal is to oil • Excellent source of heat and electricity • Suited for some C5 (e.g., furfural) and lignin products • Need quantum leap in technology to achieve meaningful ethanol economy • Limited quantity, seasonality • Current thermochemical approaches non-viable • Need enzymatic approach or high value by-products • Realize environmental value though co-gen • Use coal-to-liquid and burn the bagasse
Ethanol: the worst possible product Crude Petrol 40 GJ 40 GJ $480 $500 Chemicals Spot price Ethylene $ 950/t Propylene $1100/t Styrene $ 1290/t LDPE $ 1350/t PP $ 1260/t PS $ 1420/t ABS $ 1600/t 23.4.2007 Sugar EtOH 18 GJ 27 GJ $200 $400 ($600oe) In conventional combustion engines, no premium for higher purity
Political imperatives • Indirect farm subsidies • Resource security • Environmental impact • Passenger cars <8% of Australian GHG emissions • Existing technology could half this • Several future alternatives
Political imperatives • Indirect farm subsidies • Resource security • Environmental impact • Passenger cars <8% of Australian GHG emissions • Existing technology could half this • Several future alternatives • Ease of introduction • Readily controlled by policy • Existing technology • Easy to explain • Path to better products?
Efficient catalysts • Enzyme bio-catalysis • Low cost, flexible • Limited product range (e.g., co-factor needs) • Fermentation • Fast development, large engineering potential • Broad product range • In planta • Potentially lowest cost • Long lead time, downstream purification
Metabolic engineering We are studying microbes as "programmable" manufacturing factories to make chemicals, monomers and polymers from different nutrient feedstocks. Current feedstocks for these materials are petrochemicals from oil. We are programming microbes to make very sophisticated polymer building blocks and molecules out of simple, renewable feedstocks, like glucose and methane. Chad Holliday, Chairman & CEO – DuPont, Boston Chief Executive Club, Sept 99.
Classical biotechnology • Random mutations • Process optimisation • Fixed product range
Classical biotechnology • Random mutations • Process optimisation • Fixed product range • Genetic engineering • New products PDO
Classical biotechnology • Random mutations • Process optimisation • Fixed product range • Genetic engineering • New products • Enzyme engineering • Improved kinetics PDO
Classical biotechnology • Random mutations • Process optimisation • Fixed product range • Genetic engineering • New products • Enzyme engineering • Improved kinetics PDO • Metabolic engineering • Pathway redesign • Control redesing
Metabolic engineering • From retrofitting to green field design • Genetic engineering systems & synthetic biology • PDO • 7 years, 15 staff using conventional metabolic engineering • Succinic acid • 3 years, 10 staff using systems biology • Amino acids • 2-3 years, 3 staff using synthetic biology followed by systems biology
Real challenges • One 50,000 tpa facility • $50m in R&D • $75-150m in capital cost • 7-10 years to market • Integration • End-users expect complete solutions • Existing chemical industry benefits immensely from process and product integration • Market penetration • 50% lower production price for replacement products • Distinct advantages for new products • Need collaborations to succeed!
Conclusions • Over the next generation • $2,000b chemical industry will become bio-based • Large opportunities throughout the value chain • Sugarcane ideal biomass crop • Bagasse provides inexpensive, renewable energy • Australia can compete • Century long tradition of competing through leading sugarcane technology • Strong biotech infrastructure • Portal to growing markets in Asia