Chemical Structure Retention

As mentioned, one way to improve the net energy balance, or CED, of white biotechnological processes was to use a larger portion of the biomass feedstock material (see Section 12.4.2.1). This addresses one option, another option is to retain the complex biochemical structure. Terrestrial plants are highly effective organisms in which efficiency for the photosynthesis step can reach well above 70%, but based on the resulting calorific value, the so-called photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), is usually below 1%. The reason for this huge discrepancy is the internal life functions and biochemical synthesis pathways to create a wide array of highly complex biochemical structures. Just as adding functionality costs process energy in the petrochemical industry, synthesizing complex biochemical structure also costs energy in the plant. Being able to use the complex chemical functionality, where plants had invested great lengths of energy, for existing chemicals of a similar functionality could by-pass many energy intensive process routes. A large part of the functionalized chemicals in the 3rd to 6th derivative classification are still considered commodities. Developing biotechnological process solutions to uphold the biomass complexes is needed to achieve large contributions to CO2eq emission savings.

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