Non-food Biomass plantations would take a major role in United States bioeconomy during next decades. In mid-July, the US Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), in partnership with Oak Ridge National Labs and other federal agencies issued the third in a series of landmark technical assessments calculating the potential supply of biomass in the contiguous United States. Today, in the first in a series of guest Views from the USA, Michele Jalbert, chief operating officer, and Corinne Young, chief advocate, of the Renewable Chemicals & Advanced Materials Alliance (re:chem), weigh in on the implications for the renewable chemical sector.


The 2016 Billion Ton Report now charts a path toward robust US sector development with product diversity to cross-subsidize those elements of the bio-economy that are not immediately profitable. It specifically emphasizes the production and use of biofuels, bio-power and bio-products. It is this trio’s breadth and depth within the sector that promises its future expansion. As BETO Director Jonathan Male noted in a recent post, “The continued integration of bio-based chemicals and materials along the biofuel-production pathway will lead to new feedstock demands, technology development, and economic opportunities. Innovation in the field of biotechnology will continue to offer solutions to processing challenges and drive the development of new biomass-based products. These products can, in turn, enable the cost-effective production of advanced biofuels, improve energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to U.S. job growth.”

The 2016 Billion-Ton Report jointly released by the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory this week has found that the United States has the potential to sustainably produce at least 1 billion dry tons of non-food biomass resources annually by 2040. These renewable resources include agricultural, forestry and algal biomass, as well as waste.

Download report here.

Interesting links: How much are bio-based products worth to the US economy?