Green chemical feedstocks
Besides applications for power generation and as a transport fuel, biomass can also be used as a chemical feedstock. If the chemical industry in Europe were to switch to 25% biofeedstocks, the sector’s demand for biomass would approximate or even slightly exceed that of the transport sector. There are a number of options for biomass use in the chemical industry, with varying requirements for specific types of biomass. To a large extent, the raw biomass used by the chemical industry would be roughly equivalent to that currently used for transport biofuels, although certain routes would involve different bio resources. Compared with applications for transport fuels, use of biomass as a chemical feedstock often has greater environmental benefits, at lower cost. It would be very useful to establish sustainability criteria for the use of biomass by the chemical industry, too.
Based partly on this study by CE Delft, the Commission for Sustainability Aspects of Biomass (the Corbey Commission) has drawn up an advisory document recommending introduction of sustainability criteria for use of biomass by the chemical industry.