Converting plant biomass to fuels and commodity chemicals in South Africa: a third chapter?

L. R. Lynd, H. Von Blottnltz, B. Tait, J. De Boer, I. S. Pretorius, K. Rumbold, W. H. Van Zyl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

THERE HAVE BEEN TWO DISTINCT CHAPTERS in the history of converting cellulosic biomass to fuels and commodity chemicals in South Africa. The first chapter, from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, involved some of the most active research and development efforts of their kind anywhere in the world. Thereafter, during the second chapter, there has been very little activity in the field in South Africa while there has been an unprecedented awakening to the potential of biomass conversion elsewhere. This paper considers the rationale and possible benefits of a potential third chapter based on a revitalized effort on biomass conversion in South Africa. Such an enterprise would build on the country's large biomass production potential, strong technical capability in yeast biotechnology, a well-developed research and development infrastructure in biological processing, and expertise derived from the largest non-petroleum hydrocarbon processing industry in the world. Substantial societal benefits could be realized that address critically important national needs, including the utilization of sustainable resources, industrial development, and improved balance of payments. Moreover, establishing a modern biomass processing industry in South Africa appears to represent one of the largest potential sources of rural employment identified to date. We propose steps to realizing these benefits.

LanguageEnglish
Pages499-507
Number of pages9
JournalSouth African Journal of Science
Volume99
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

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South Africa
products and commodities
Biomass
commodity
biomass
research and development
industry
Industry
Processing
industrialization
balance of payments
infrastructure
biotechnology
hydrocarbons
industrial development
biomass production
Biotechnology
Hydrocarbons
Research
Yeast

Cite this

Lynd, L. R., Von Blottnltz, H., Tait, B., De Boer, J., Pretorius, I. S., Rumbold, K., & Van Zyl, W. H. (2003). Converting plant biomass to fuels and commodity chemicals in South Africa: a third chapter? South African Journal of Science, 99(11-12), 499-507.
Lynd, L. R. ; Von Blottnltz, H. ; Tait, B. ; De Boer, J. ; Pretorius, I. S. ; Rumbold, K. ; Van Zyl, W. H. / Converting plant biomass to fuels and commodity chemicals in South Africa : a third chapter?. In: South African Journal of Science. 2003 ; Vol. 99, No. 11-12. pp. 499-507.
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Lynd, LR, Von Blottnltz, H, Tait, B, De Boer, J, Pretorius, IS, Rumbold, K & Van Zyl, WH 2003, 'Converting plant biomass to fuels and commodity chemicals in South Africa: a third chapter?', South African Journal of Science, vol. 99, no. 11-12, pp. 499-507.

Converting plant biomass to fuels and commodity chemicals in South Africa : a third chapter? / Lynd, L. R.; Von Blottnltz, H.; Tait, B.; De Boer, J.; Pretorius, I. S.; Rumbold, K.; Van Zyl, W. H.

In: South African Journal of Science, Vol. 99, No. 11-12, 11.2003, p. 499-507.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

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Lynd LR, Von Blottnltz H, Tait B, De Boer J, Pretorius IS, Rumbold K et al. Converting plant biomass to fuels and commodity chemicals in South Africa: a third chapter? South African Journal of Science. 2003 Nov;99(11-12):499-507.