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Biobased Industrial Products Priorities for Research and Commercialization Committee on Biobased Industrial Products Board on Biology Commission on Life Sciences National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.
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Page ii NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS • 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW • Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been prepared with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number 92-COOP-2-8321; U.S. Department of Energy under order number DE-A101-93CE 50370; National Renewable Energy Laboratory under agreement number XC-2-11274-01; and National Science Foundation under agreement number BCS-9120391. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Biobased industrial products: priorities for research and commercialization / Committee on Biobased Industrial Products, Board on Biology, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. ISBN 0-309-05392-7 (casebound) 1. BiotechnologyUnited StatesForecasting. 2. BiotechnologyGovernment policyUnited States. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Biobased Industrial Products. TP248.185 .B535 1999 338.4'76606'0973dc21 99-50917 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2000 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Page iii The National Acadamies National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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Page iv Committee on Biobased Industrial Products CHARLES J. ARNTZEN, Co-chair, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Inc., Ithaca, New York BRUCE E. DALE, Co-chair, Department of Chemical Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing ROGER N. BEACHY, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California JAMES N. BEMILLER, Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana RICHARD R. BURGESS, McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison PAUL GALLAGHER, Department of Economics, Iowa State University, Ames RALPH W.F. HARDY, National Agricultural Biotechnology Council, Ithaca, New York DONALD L. JOHNSON, Grain Processing Corporation, Muscatine, Iowa T. KENT KIRK, Forest Products Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Madison, Wisconsin GANESH M. KISHORE, Monsanto Agricultural Group, Chesterfield, Missouri ALEXANDER M. KLIBANOV, Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JOHN PIERCE, DuPont Agricultural Enterprise, Newark, Delaware JACQUELINE V. SHANKS, Department of Chemical Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas DANIEL I. C. WANG, Biotechnology Process Engineering Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JANET WESTPHELING, Genetics Department, University of Georgia, Athens J. GREGORY ZEIKUS, MBI International, Lansing, Michigan Consultant Elizabeth Chornesky Staff Mary Jane Letaw, Program Officer Joseph Zelibor, Project Director to January 31, 1996 Eric Fischer, Study Director to January 5, 1997 Paul Gilman, Study Director to September 30, 1998
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Page v Board on Biology PAUL BERG, Chair, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif. JOANNA BURGER, Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J. MICHAEL T. CLEGG, University of California, Riverside DAVID EISENBERG, University of California, Los Angeles DAVID J. GALAS, Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Science, Claremont, Calif. DAVID V. GOEDDEL, Tularik, Inc., San Francisco ARTURO GOMEZ-POMPA, University of California, Riverside CORY S. GOODMAN, University of California, Berkeley CYNTHIA K. KENYON, University of California, San Francisco BRUCE R. LEVIN, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. ELLIOT M. MEYEROWITZ, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena ROBERT T. PAINE, University of Washington, Seattle RONALD R. SEDEROFF, North Carolina State University, Raleigh ROBERT R. SOKAL, State University of New York, Stony Brook SHIRLEY M. TILGHMAN, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. RAYMOND L. WHITE, University of Utah, Salt Lake City Staff Ralph Dell, Acting Director
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Page vi Commission on Life Sciences MICHAEL T. CLEGG, Chair, University of California, Riverside PAUL BERG, Vice Chair, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif. FREDERICK R. ANDERSON, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Washington, D.C. JOHN C. BAILAR III, University of Chicago, Chicago, Il. JOANNA BURGER, Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J. JAMES E. CLEAVER, University of California, San Francisco DAVID S. EISENBERG, UCLA-DOE Laboratory of Structural Biology and Molecular Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles JOHN L. EMMERSON, Eli Lilly and Co. (ret.), Indianapolis, In. NEAL L. FIRST, University of Wisconsin, Madison DAVID J. GALAS, Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Science, Claremont, Calif. DAVID V. GOEDDEL, Tularik, Inc., South San Francisco, Calif. ARTURO GOMEZ-POMPA, University of California, Riverside COREY S. GOODMAN, University of California, Berkeley JON W. GORDON, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y. DAVID G. HOEL, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston BARBARA S. HULKA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill CYNTHIA J. KENYON, University of California, San Francisco BRUCE R. LEVIN, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. DAVID M. LIVINGSTON, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass. DONALD R. MATTISON, March of Dimes, White Plains, N.Y. ELLIOT M. MEYEROWITZ, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena ROBERT T. PAINE, University of Washington, Seattle RONALD R. SEDEROFF, North Carolina State University, Raleigh ROBERT R. SOKAL, State University of New York, Stony Brook CHARLES F. STEVENS, M.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, Calif. SHIRLEY M. TILGHMAN, Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. RAYMOND L. WHITE, University of Utah, School of Medicine, Salt Lake City Staff Warren Muir, Executive Director
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Page vii Acknowledgments This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Margriet Caswell, United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Washington, D.C.; John S. Chipman, University of Minnesota; Robert E. Connick, retired, University of California, Berkeley; Ronald J. Dinus, retired, University of British Columbia; Raphael Katzen, Consulting Engineer, Bonita Springs, Florida; Scott E. Nichols, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., Johnston, Iowa; Christopher R. Somerville, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, California; George T. Tsao, Purdue University; and Charles R. Wilke, retired, University of California, Berkeley. While the individuals listed above provided constructive comments and suggestions, it must be emphasized that responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Cotton and other Natural Fibers, 57 Targeting Markets, 58 Capital Investments, 59 A Case Study of Lignocellulose-Ethano] Processing, 60 4 Processing Technologies The Biorefinery Concept, 62 Existing U.S. Prototypes, 63 Comparison of Biorefineries to Petroleum Refinenes, 66 Lessons From Petroleum Refined Experience, 67 Processes for Converting Raw Matenals to Biobased Products, 68 Lignocellulose Fractionation Pretreatment: A Key Step, 68 Thermal, Chemical, and Mechanical Processes, 71 Biological Processes, 74 Needed Developments in Processing Technology, 80 Upstream Processes, 80 Bioprocesses, 80 Microbiological Systems, 81 Enzymes, 82 Downstream Processes, 83 Summary, 85 5 Making the Transition to Biobased Products A Vision for the Future, 88 Investments to Achieve the Vision, 92 Niche Products, 93 Commodity Products, 93 Public Investments in Research and Development, 93 FederaI-State Cooperation, 95 Incentives, 96 Providing a Supportive Infrastructure, 96 Education of Public, 97 Technical Training, 97 Information and Databases, 97 Research Pnorities, 98 Biological Research, 98 Processing Advances, 99 Economic Feasibility, 103 Environmental Research, 104 Conclusion, 104 References Appendix A: A Case Study of Lignocellulose-Ethano! Processing Feedstock Supply and Demand, ~ ~ 5 Transportation Costs, ~ ~ 7 . . ~ V111 62 87 105 115
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Page ix Contents Executive Summary 1 Raw Material Resource Base 3 Opportunities: Range of Biobased Products 5 Processing Technologies 8 A Vision for the Future 10 Recommendations 11 1 Overview 15 Potential Benefits of Biobased Industrial Products 18 Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act 19 International Markets 19 Environmental Quality 19 Rural Employment 23 Diversification of Petroleum Feedstocks 23 Setting a Course for the Future 24 Report Coverage 25 2 Raw Material Resource Base 26 Silviculture Crops 26 Agricultural Crops 27 Enhancing the Supply of Biomass 29 Waste Materials 29 Conservation Reserve Program 31
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Page x Filling the Raw Material Needs of a Biobased Industry 32 Current Resources 32 Improving Plant Raw Materials 39 Introduction of New Crops 52 Summary 53 3 Range of Biobased Products 55 Commodity Chemicals and Fuels 57 Ethanol 57 Biodiesel 58 Intermediate Chemicals 60 Ethylene 60 Acetic Acid 62 Fatty Acids 62 Specialty Chemicals 62 Enzymes 63 Biobased Materials 65 Bioplastics 66 Soy-based Inks 67 Forest Products 67 Cotton and Other Natural Fibers 68 Targeting Markets 70 Capital Investments 71 A Case Study of Lignocellulose-Ethanol Processing 72 4 Processing Technologies 74 The Biorefinery Concept 75 Existing U.S. Prototypes 75 Comparison of Biorefineries to Petroleum Refineries 79 Lessons from Petroleum Refinery Experience 80 Processes for Converting Raw Materials to Biobased Products 81 Lignocellulose Fractionation Pretreatment: A Key Step 81 Thermal, Chemical, and Mechanical Processes 81 Biological Processes 88 Needed Developments in Processing Technology 95 Upstream Processes 95 Bioprocesses 96 Microbiological Systems 97 Enzymes 98 Downstream Processes 100 Summary 101
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Page xi 5 Making the Transition to Biobased Products 103 A Vision for the Future 104 Investments to Achieve the Vision 109 Niche Products 110 Commodity Products 111 Public Investments in Research and Development 111 Federal-State Cooperation 113 Incentives 113 Providing a Supportive Infrastructure 115 Education of the Public 115 Technical Training 115 Information and Databases 116 Research Priorities 117 Biological Research 117 Processing Advances 118 Economic Feasibility 123 Environmental Research 124 Conclusion 124 References 126 Appendix A: Case Study of Lignocellulose-Ethanol Processing 137 Feedstock Supply and Demand 137 Transportation Costs 140 Processing Costs 141 Fuel Efficiency 143 Appendix B: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 144
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Page xii Tables, Figures, and Boxes Tables 2-1 Estimated Availability of Waste Biomass in the United States 30 2-2 Crops with Potential Uses for Industrial Products 50 3-1 Increase in Worldwide Sales of Biotechnology Products (1983 and 1994) 56 3-2 Hypothetical Production Cost Comparisons for Ethylene 61 3-3 Estimated Capital Requirements for Target Biobased Organic Chemicals Produced from Glucose 72 4-1 Industrial and Food Uses of Corn, 1996 to 1997 Marketing Year 78 4-2 Comparison of Biorefineries to Fossil-Based Refineries 80 5-1 Targets for a National Biobased Industry 105 5-2 Steps to Achieve Targets of a National Biobased Industry: Biobased Liquid FuelsProduction Milestones 106 5-3 Steps to Achieve Targets of a National Biobased Industry: Biobased Organic ChemicalsProduction Milestones 107 5-4 Steps to Achieve Targets of a National Biobased Industry: Biobased MaterialsProduction Milestones 108 A-1 Costs of Corn Stover Harvest in the United States, 1993 139 A-2 Production Cost Estimate for Plant Processing Corn Stover to Ethanol 142
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Page xiii Figures 1-1 Biobased Products Manufactured Today 16 4-1 Corn Processing and Fermentation Chemicals 76 4-2 Soybean Processing 78 A-1 Corn Stover Supply and Demand Curve 138 Boxes 1-1 Converting Biomass to Ethanol 21 2-1 Nature's Nylons 36 2-2 Evaluating Alternative Crop Sources of Petroselenic Acid 38 2-3 Genetic Engineering Methods 40 2-4 Genetic Engineering to Increase Starch Biosynthesis 48 3-1 Plastics from Plants and Microbes 66 3-2 Biopolymers 69 4-1 Softening Wood the Natural Way 89 4-2 The Changing U.S. Role in Worldwide Amino Acid Production 91 4-3 Making Alternative Sweeteners from Corn 93
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