Building the bioeconomy: A targeted assessment approach to identifying biobased technologies, challenges and opportunities in the UK
|Building the bioeconomy: A targeted assessment approach to identifying biobased technologies, challenges and opportunities in the UK
We explore opportunities, challenges, and strategies to translate and responsibly scale innovative biobased technologies to build more sustainable bioeconomies. The pandemic and other recent disruptions have increased exposure to issues of resilience and regional imbalance and raised attention to pathways that could shift production and consumption regimes based more on local biobased resources and dispersed production. The paper reviews potential biobased technologies strategies and then identifies promising and feasible options with a focus on the United Kingdom. Initial landscape and bibliometric analyses identified 50 potential existing and emerging potential biobased technologies. These technologies were assessed for their ability to fulfil requirements related to biobased production, national applicability, and economic, societal, and environmental benefits, leading to identification of 18 promising biobased production technologies. Through further analysis and focus group discussion with industrial, governmental, academic, agricultural, and social stakeholders, three technology clusters were identified for targeted assessment, drawing on cellulose-, lignin-, and seaweed-feedstocks. Case studies for each of these clusters were developed, addressing conversations around sustainable management and the use of biomass feedstocks, and associated environmental, social, and economic challenges. These cases are presented with discussion of insights and implications for policy. The approach presented in the paper is put forward as a scalable assessment method which can be useful in prompting, informing, and advancing discussion and deliberation on opportunities and challenges for biobased transformations.
|Ivan Allen College Contributors: