The Bioeconomy – A revolution in American Agriculture


The Bioeconomy – A revolution in American Agriculture Mer information
Mer information

A vision of a new Bioeconomy, wherein agriculture replaces petroleum as a source of carbon and energy, is profoundly affecting global agriculture and world economies. Agriculture has been optimized for food and feed, but must now transition to also providing fuels, chemicals and biomaterials. Iowa State University recently established the world’s first integrated research and demonstration farm devoted to biomass production and processing that has become a national model for developing advanced biofuels.

This research and development approach integrates plant genomics; biomass crop production; new harvesting, storage, transportation methods; and processing of biomass for biofuels and biobased products. Four strategies being developed: advanced technologies for more efficient corn starch and soybean oil conversion; biologically based conversion of cellulosic biomass to ethanol and industrial chemicals; thermally based conversion of cellulosic biomass to a variety of biofuels; and lipid-rich biomass conversion to biodiesel or synthetic diesel (hydrocarbon-based fuel). Today’s biofuel industries are based on grains to ethanol and biodiesel, but they will need to transition into tomorrow’s bio refineries, hopefully by integrating “bolt-on” technologies.

The Bio Century Research Farm also houses the first advanced research bio refinery. Bio refineries will produce a diverse product mix and will alter daily outputs depending on what the marketplace wants to maximize returns just as the petroleum refining industry does. Biological, thermochemical and hybrid conversions are being used to produce value-added intermediates or platform chemicals as well as fuels. Advanced biorefineries may also shift from today’s preferred automobile biofuels, ethanol, to better performing and more energy-dense products. Biorefineries will likely need to use a variety of feedstocks to take advantage of the lowest cost inputs depending on location and time of year. Sustainability will be key; it is unacceptable to replace the unsustainable petroleum system with another unsustainable system. Most agricultural researchers agree that U.S. corn production is not sustainable, but integrating biomass crops and new cropping systems may make biofuels production sustainable. This presentation will focus on where we are and where we are going in the Bioeconomy with particular focus on research underway at the BioCentury Research Farm and Iowa State University.


09.30 Coffee and registration
10.00 Welcome
Åke Barklund, General Secretary and Managing Director, KSLA
10.05 The Bioeconomy: A revolution in American Agriculture
Lawrence A. Johnson, Foreign fellow of the Royal Academy
11.00 Olive oil quality and production
Rodney Mailer, Australian Oils research, New foreign fellow of the Royal Academy
11.20 Discussion

12.00        Lunch in Oscars Källare