Lux Research sees advanced biofuel technology finally breaking through

February 15, 2017 |

In Massachusetts, new biofuel technology is finally starting to push aside traditional biofuels like first-generation biodiesel.  New facilities based on non-food feedstocks and producing novel fuels account for over half of new capacity deployment for the first time in the biofuel industry’s history, according to Lux Research. However, overall output will grow at a slower pace to 67 billion gallons a year (BGY) in 2022, from 59 BGY in 2016.

Lux Research analysts quantified the commercial deployment of new technologies in the global biofuels industry using a database of nearly 2,000 facilities from 1,461 companies in 90 countries with nameplate capacity data through 2022. Among their findings:

  • Growth slows but advanced biofuels rise. The global biofuels industry will grow at a slower 2.2% annual rate to 67 BGY of nameplate capacity by 2022. First-generation biofuels, which hold a 91.5% market share, will continue to dominate but will lose nearly 6% of market share, as advanced biofuels see rapid growth, nearly doubling capacity to 9.6 BGY.
  • Biodiesel begins to fade. Second-generation biodiesel makes up 65% of the 5.0 BGY advanced biofuel market today, but is projected to lose 26% market share by 2022 due to the rapid growth of low-carbon and high-performance drop-in biofuels such as renewable diesel.
  • Thermochemical and catalytic processes usher in new era. Emerging thermochemical and catalytic technologies will surpass bioconversion processes to make up over half of the new capacity deployment for the first time in the biofuel industry’s history.

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