Posted: June 18, 2012
The 2012 Corn Utilization Technology Conference had several sessions on biorefineries like the one chaired by Dr. Dennis Miller, Michigan State University. He does research on biofuels and chemicals from renewables.
Dennis says that as we move forward with making chemicals and fuels from renewables we want to follow the model the petroleum industry has used. That includes large model chemical processing plants called refineries using biomass to make multiple products at one site. He says that while listening to the other panelists in his session heard two major themes. One was from Archer Daniels Midland which already has large biorefineries. There vision of the future is to expand the feedstock base and use things like corn stover. Then two smaller companies contrasted that by choosing single platform models that are near commercial production. He says that right now there is plenty of room for all these companies to be successful.When it comes to looking ahead Dennis says that we’re just at the cusp of seeing a breakthrough of these types of companies.
Listen to my interview with Dr. Miller here: Interview with Dr. Dennis Miller