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Five steps to a sustainable biobased product economy - Adrian Higson.pdf

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Five steps to a sustainable biobased product economy - Adrian Higson.pdf

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This presentation was given at the CHEMUK 2022 - The UK Chemical & Process Industries Expo. The presentation discusses the need for societal, systems and technological change to enable a move from the current petrochemical industry to an industry based on the use of sustainable carbon resources. A presentation is accompanied by a discussion paper which can be accessed at https://www.nnfcc.co.uk/news-transition-biobased-economy-steps.

This presentation was given at the CHEMUK 2022 - The UK Chemical & Process Industries Expo. The presentation discusses the need for societal, systems and technological change to enable a move from the current petrochemical industry to an industry based on the use of sustainable carbon resources. A presentation is accompanied by a discussion paper which can be accessed at https://www.nnfcc.co.uk/news-transition-biobased-economy-steps.

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Five steps to a sustainable biobased product economy - Adrian Higson.pdf

  1. 1. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 The transition to a biobased chemical industry Adrian Higson ChemUK 11th May 2022
  2. 2. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 A specialist business consultancy with over 18 years of bioeconomy experience Providing clients with a strategic view of feedstock, technology, policy and market development across the bioeconomy. Enabling informed business decisions and sustainable business strategies.
  3. 3. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 The need for transition Nearly half of all packaging is fossil derived. Over two thirds of textiles are fossil derived. Petrochemicals increasingly responsible for the growth in oil consumption.
  4. 4. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Toe in the water
  5. 5. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Hesitancy How to measure environmental impacts Unintended consequences
  6. 6. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Five steps Be efficient (do things right) Minimise land use Be Effective (do the right thing) Go Circular Reduce consumption The current economy Reduce biomass demand. Change the discussion on the scope of the biobased economy. “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things,” Peter Drucker
  7. 7. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Reduce consumption Reducing consumption means changing consumer attitudes and societal norms. A shift in business activities from the sale of goods to the sale of services. For materials this means designing products for durability and longevity of use. For agriculture and the food chain it means reducing avoidable waste at all points in the value chain. Products as Services WRAP
  8. 8. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Go circular The circular economy aims to design out the negative impacts of economic activity by keeping materials in use. Design is the key element of the circular economy. Product reuse and closed loop mechanical recycling, represent low energy and resource efficient cycling of materials. Additionally chemical recycling and recovering CO2 from energy from waste plants keeps valuable carbon resource in the economy.
  9. 9. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Effective biomass use Energy needs should be supplied by technologies with no combustion emissions. Other sectors are harder to decarbonise, but it is possible, green hydrogen for the aviation sector, and green ammonia as a fuel for maritime shipping. Organic chemicals and derived materials (including plastics) cannot be decarbonised, only defossilised. Airbus
  10. 10. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Reducing land demand Current low volumes of biobased production, means little impact on global land use. Arable crops offer, the most competitive economics for biobased production and a mature supply chain. However there is the potential for the industry to adopt widely available lignocellulosic biomass. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is another non-fossil feedstock for chemical and material production.
  11. 11. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Efficient use Ecosystem services and natural capital must be at the heart of climate-smart biomass supply. The continued development of biorefineries is required to ensure that all parts of the biomass feedstock are optimally used. Building out from traditional biomass using sectors gives the best opportunity to efficiently use biomass for new applications without disturbing existing and important markets such as food and construction. DuPont Tate & Lyle Loudon, Tennessee Manufacturing Plant
  12. 12. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Storing unusable carbon There is the potential to capture and store CO2, after energy recovery from end-of-life products. Fermentation based manufacturing offers a clean source of CO2 suitable for CCS. This provides an opportunity to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and the potential for negative emissions from the use of biobased products. EBRI Aston University
  13. 13. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Summary The carbon-based chemical and materials sectors cannot be decarbonised. However it is possible to defossilise them through the move to the use of renewable carbon. This transition has been inhibited due to a paralysis of political action resulting primarily from concerns over biomass availability and land use impacts. Can’t see the wood for the trees
  14. 14. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Conclusion A broader vision is required in the debate around biomass availability, land use and feedstock demand. Changes in consumption patterns, alongside the push to increase the circularity of the economy, can dramatically change the perspective on biomass demand and therefore supply. This creates a vision of the future and gives a new context for the potential and realisation of biobased economy opportunities.
  15. 15. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Full article available at www.nnfcc.co.uk
  16. 16. Copyright © NNFCC 2022 Thank you for listening ‘While the use of biomass to produce fuel, chemicals & materials isn't necessarily sustainable, the use of fossil fuels is unquestionably unsustainable.’ a.higson@nnfcc.co.uk @biobasedchem

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