In the emerging bioeconomy, the term “biotechnology” most often refers to the use of a biological process for an industrial purpose like the production of biofuels and biochemicals. There are many types of biotechnologies, including medical (such as vaccines and antibiotics), and agricultural (such as pest-resistant crops and plant and animal breeding). One of the biggest applications of biotechnology is in the energy production sector to produce environmentally friendly fuels. Examples of biotechnology that allow this to occur are the use of corn to produce ethanol and soybeans to produce biodiesel. These fuels are good for the environment as they do not produce greenhouse gases. Bio-technologies are normally divided into four major groups. The first group is thermal conversion technologies. These technologies use heat to convert biomass materials into energy and include pyrolysis and torrefaction technologies. The second group is chemical conversion technologies which, as the name implies, use chemicals to convert biomass into liquid fuels. A third group is biochemical conversions, which involve the use of enzymes, bacteria, or some other organism to break down biomass into fuel. Examples of these are anaerobic digestion and fermentation technologies. The fourth group is thermochemical conversion technologies. These use heat and chemical processes to convert biomass into energy. This group normally encompasses gasification technologies.
A biotechnology technology expert is someone who has a background, education, and experience in a specific area, like anaerobic digestion, gasification, pyrolysis, or torrefaction. These experts understand and follow the technological development in their area of expertise and can assist with overcoming technological and economical challenges in project development. These experts also typically have experience with the selected biomass feedstock.
What does a biotechnology expert or consultant do? Biotechnology experts are often called upon to assist in selecting the right equipment for a project, or to help in the oversight of the building of a plant. They are used by investors conducting due diligence on projects or technology. In matters involving biotechnology litigation, these biotechnology consultants may serve as expert witnesses, assisting the attorneys with a better understanding of the exact issues involved, and they may testify in court about the technology-related matters.
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms certainly have experts in bio-technologies, as well as the more common areas like bio and renewable fuels, biomass and biomass power, feedstocks, biomaterials, and biochemicals. These larger groups will also have expertise in other technologies like agitation systems, anaerobic digestion, bio-oil extraction, bioreactors, carbon capture, carbon storage, carbonization, catalysis, cellulosic ethanol, clean tech, direct combustion, enzyme technologies, fermentation, Fischer-Tropsch, gasification, genetic engineering, hydrothermal, nanotechnology, organosynthesis, power generation, pyrolysis, renewable technology due diligence, synthetic biology, thermochemical conversion, torrefaction, water treatment, and waste management.
For over 25 years, Lee Enterprises Consulting has been assisting companies and investors with issues relating to sustainability, bioenergy, biomaterials and chemicals, biotechnologies, and feedstocks. With over 150 consultants, we have the diverse expertise and geographical reach to assist in virtually any bioeconomy project worldwide. These seasoned professionals average over 30 years each in their industry experience. Our ability to assemble these professionals into multidisciplinary teams allows us to fully integrate the technical, scientific, and regulatory aspects of a project, and combine them with years of hands-on experience. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. You will note that most of our experts are also available for ancillary engagements and advice, for specialty engagements like serving as expert witnesses in litigation matters. A good overview of our group is found in this video. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.