Monday, November 26, 2007

The Bioprocessing Revolution

Mark Zappi has an op-ed piece that popped up on the Biobased News site. Zappi is the dean of Engineering and Director of the Bioprocessing Research Laboratory at the University of Louisiana.

A Peek into the New Industrial Revolution - Bioprocessing

Its worth reading. Spot on explanation in what I see happening as well.

An excerpt below:

The industrial revolution of the 1800’s and 1900’s was based on steel, fossil fuels, bricks, and mortar. Now these are staples in America’s industrial toolbox. However, most experts agree that the next industrial revolution that is just beginning is one that will be based on biology-based materials or biomass.

This revolution will usher in a totally new paradigm in terms of how society views both farm products and our organically rich wastes. Agriculture will diversify from producing only foodstocks to producing both crops for food and crops for chemical production, or in other words, both foodstocks and chemical crops. Chemical companies are investing tremendous monetary and intellectual capital in biotechnology that focuses on harnessing the vast chemical potential of plants. The result will surely be new relationships blossoming between the agricultural and chemicals production industries.

And then Zappi waves a big Louisiana flag around this emerging industry bringing this technological shift's significance home:

And Louisiana? I believe that our great state will continue its leadership role as a source of chemicals and fuel. Louisiana is one of the leading states when considering its capability to produce tremendous tonnage each year of biomass. Given the vast chemical production and supporting transportation infrastructure in place coupled with its highly productive agricultural capability, Louisiana should emerge as a leader in bioprocessing.

This is the first time I've come across Zappi. So far I like what I see and it's definitely worth a Google. I especially love those advocates for bioproducts who bring the new technology into context. Mark Zappi does a great job of doing that in this piece.

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