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This report will look in the concepts of a biorefinery and how they can be applied for commercial usein the UK. A biorefinery is a manufacturing site involved in the refining of biomass material to yield purified materials and molecules.
With the rising demand for energy worldwide, and the peaking of oil and gas production, alternativefuels must be sought and renewable sources are the most sustainable source. These will also help theUK meet its commitments to the EU on carbon emissions and the Kyoto agreement.Biorefinery have developed over time and can be classed as three different phases or generations.
Phase 1 biorefinery have one feedstock, and one major product.
Phase 2 biorefinery have one feedstock and can produce more than one major product
Phase three biorefinery can process multiple feedstock and produce multiple productsThere are also different specific types of biorefineries which can fit in any of these generations,1.
Whole Crop Biorefinery: A system which uses feedstock such as maize and cereals.2.
The Green Biorefinery: A system which uses wet biomass such as3.
Lignocellulose feedback Biorefinery: a system which uses naturally dry feedstock such ascellulose-containing matter.4.
Two-Platform concept Biorefinery: A system in which both biochemical and thermo-chemical platforms are applied.The most feasible biorefineries to apply in the UK are the two-platform and Lignocellulose biorefinery
as these have the most feedstock available and don’t require import. The north ea
st of the UK has ahigh density of energy crops which can be used in these systems and will be the most ideal locationfor a biorefinery due to this. It is also a very well connected area in terms of transport thereforelogistically easier for operation.A type three biorefinery which can incorporate a lot more than these will be the ideal type in the UK< however they will not set off on a commercial scale for another 15-25 years depending ondevelopment.Biorefineries have the potential to generate much
of the UK’s energy demand but the idea of having
them must be exploited more by the UK with government taking a lead role in this.