During the period of time from about 2000 to 2013, most of the activity in the bioeconomy was focused on commodity products, especially fuels. The main products were ethanol and butanol, and the root technology was the conversion of starches and cellulose to sugars, followed by fermentation. As petroleum became less expensive once again, fuels have become de-emphasized, and the product focus has shifted to more valuable products, such as foods, food additives, and specialty chemicals. Some have used sugars as feedstock. Some have used syngas and petroleum byproducts such as natural gas as feedstocks. Examples of products and technologies include:
- Fish feed proteins, by fermentation
- Mycoproteins for human consumption, by fermentation
- Meat substitutes, such as heme added to a soy base, by fermentation
- Organic chemicals, by syngas fermentation
- Oncology medicines, by solid-state fermentation
- Toll R&D and production for a variety of products, by fermentation
- Hydrocarbons, by syngas fermentation
- Air carbon, by natural gas fermentation
- Protein supplements, by fermentation
There are many others. Though the nature of the products has changed, a key process element is fermentation, and a key element of that is the mixing system design and scale-up. We remain ready to help with any such projects. LEC consultants can help with the mixing design, as well as due diligence, overall project economics, etc.
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms certainly have experts in biofuels and renewable fuels, and the more common areas like biomaterials, biomass and biomass power, feedstocks, and biotechnologies. In these larger consulting groups, one will also find expertise in other biofuels like algae biofuels, aviation/bio jet fuels, ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, advanced biofuels, biodiesel, renewable diesel, renewable natural gas, renewable and biochemicals, biogas, syngas, biochar, bio coals, biobutanol, pyrolysis oil, and producer gas, wood pellets.