CAS Chemistry Research Report - China Takes Lead in the Commercialization of Bioethanol
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CAS Chemistry Research Report - China Takes Lead in the Commercialization of Bioethanol

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Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), the world's authority for chemical information, reports that in 2009, China surpassed all other countries in the production of bioethanol patents, emerging as the ...

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), the world's authority for chemical information, reports that in 2009, China surpassed all other countries in the production of bioethanol patents, emerging as the global leader in the commercialization of bioethanol research.

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    CAS Chemistry Research Report - China Takes Lead in the Commercialization of Bioethanol CAS Chemistry Research Report - China Takes Lead in the Commercialization of Bioethanol Document Transcript

    • CAS Chemistry Research Report Delivering the latest trends in global chemistry research China Takes Lead in the Commercialization of Bioethanol www.cas.org
    • CAS Chemistry Research Report Summary In 2009, the United Nations Environment While the dramatic increase in global production of Programme (UNEP) reported that global ethanol bioethanol is attributable, in part, to new processing production for transport fuel had tripled between technology, it also reflects a diversification of the 2000 and 2007, from 17 billion to more than 52 starting material—or feedstock—used to derive billion liters.1 During the same timeframe, published bioethanol. In addition to corn, today’s bioethanol scientific research pertaining to bioethanol more is derived from such feedstock as sugar cane, than doubled. Together, these trends demonstrate lignocellulosic biomass, and algae. an increasing interest in the commercialization of Biofuels, including bioethanol, are commonly grouped biofuels around the world. into first-, second-, and third-generations according In the first CAS Chemistry Research Report, to the source of the feedstock and the technology researchers from CAS, a division of the American required to process the feedstock into fuel.1 These Chemical Society and the world’s authority for biofuel generations are defined by UNEP as follows: chemical information, analyzed major trends in published research related to bioethanol production • First-generation biofuels – Derived from food and found that scientific research on second- sources (e.g., corn, sugar cane, cereals, generation biofuels—fuels derived from non-food sugar beets) sources—has grown more than any other category of biofuel research throughout the last 40 years. • Second-generation biofuels – Derived from non-food sources (e.g., stalks of wheat, corn Furthermore, while the United States leads all stover, wood) other nations in the publication of scientific journal literature regarding bioethanol, China is • Third-generation biofuels – Derived from algae the global leader in the patenting of bioethanol discoveries, demonstrating an emerging leadership position in the commercialization of bioethanol. Using these definitions, CAS analysts examined overall trends in global scientific research regarding bioethanol production from 1969 to 2009 in the CAS databases, Background the world’s most authoritative and comprehensive collection of chemistry-related information. UNEP defines biofuels as “combustible materials directly or indirectly derived from biomass, The following report examines the growth of first-, commonly produced from plants, animals and second-, and third-generation bioethanol research over micro-organisms but also from organic wastes.”1 the last four decades and identifies the nations leading the world in the exploration and commercialization of Bioethanol is perhaps the earliest example of biofuel renewable fuels. technology used in transportation. In 1908, Henry Ford introduced the Ford Model T, an automobile originally designed to run on corn-derived ethanol. As the auto industry adopted fossil fuels, interest in bioethanol and other biofuels for transportation diminished and nearly disappeared until the last quarter of the 20th century. New technologies have since improved and increased bioethanol production. According to UNEP, not only did bioethanol production triple from 2000 to 2007, but “global use of bioethanol and biodiesel will nearly double from 2005-2007 to 2017. Most of this increase will probably be due to biofuel use in the USA, the EU, Brazil and China.” 1 2
    • CAS Chemistry Research Report Second-generation bioethanol 700 research soars nearly 600 1st Generation 2nd Generation percent in a decade. 600 3rd Generation Published Documents 500 Analysis of the world’s bioethanol research published between 1969 and 400 2009 indicates that second-generation bioethanol was the most frequently 300 studied category of bioethanol throughout the last 40 years. While published research 200 related to all types of bioethanol has increased during the last four decades, 100 and particularly over the last 10 years, publication of research pertaining to second-generation bioethanol grew 586 0 percent between 2000 and 2009 (Figure 1). 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 This growth demonstrates a surge of Figure 1 - Patent and journal literature pertaining to second-generation bioethanol research interest in the production of biofuels was published most frequently from 1969 to 2009. derived from non-food sources, which is widely considered more sustainable, affordable, and environmentally friendly compared to biofuels derived from food sources such as corn, sugar beets, or cereals. FIRST-GENERATION SECOND-GENERATION THIRD-GENERATION 3
    • CAS Chemistry Research Report Patenting of bioethanol 60 1st Generation research accelerates 2nd Generation as countries began to 50 Journal Articles (% total) 3rd Generation commercialize research. 40 When journal articles (Figure 2) and patent documents (Figure 3) are analyzed 30 separately and normalized over time as a percentage of all ethanol production- related research, it is apparent that while 20 bioethanol research was more commonly published in journal articles during the 10 last 40 years, the patenting of research has accelerated in the last decade. 0 Patent documents pertaining to second- 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 generation bioethanol rose more dramatically than the other categories Figure 2 - Second-generation bioethanol journal articles accounted for a quarter of all journal articles related to ethanol production in the past 40 years. over the last decade, increasing 2,341 percent between 2000 and 2009. 60 This shift in publication methods 1st Generation indicates that research organizations 2nd Generation Patent Documents (% total) are increasingly choosing to stake claim 50 3rd Generation on intellectual property regarding second-generation bioethanol 40 research by patenting their discoveries, rather than disseminating research 30 information via journal articles. The move toward patenting bioethanol research indicates an increasing global 20 tendency for researchers to monetize and commercialize their discoveries. 10 According to the International Energy Agency, “second-generation biofuels 0 are not yet produced commercially, 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 but a considerable number of pilot and demonstration plants have been Figure 3 - Patenting of second-generation bioethanol research has accelerated rapidly announced or set up in recent years, with since 2005. research activities taking place mainly in North America, Europe and a few emerging countries (e.g. Brazil, China, India and Thailand).”2 4
    • CAS Chemistry Research Report While the United States is the primary publisher of bioethanol journal articles, China has emerged as the world’s leader in commercializing bioethanol research. In 2009, researchers from the United States led all nations in the publication of journal articles about both first- and second-generation bioethanol research (Figures 4 and 5). Yet in the same year, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People’s Republic of China ranked well ahead of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the publication of patent documents related to first- and second- generation bioethanol (Figures 6 and 7), despite the U.S. preeminence in journal articles during the same year. The 2009 patent and journal rankings represent a distinct shift from 2003, when the U.S. ranked first in patents and second in journal articles. This shift in patent publication most reflects China’s greater interest in the commercialization of bioethanol research. United States State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R. China (SIPO) People's Republic of China United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Japan Japan Patent Office (JPO) South Korea German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) Greece Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) 0 10 20 30 40 50 0 10 20 30 40 50 2009 First-Generation Journal Articles (% total) 2009 First-Generation Patent Documents (% total) Figure 4 - Researchers from the United States and the People’s Republic of Figure 6 - SIPO and the USPTO were the top two publishers of first-generation China were the top two contributors of first-generation bioethanol journal bioethanol patent documents in 2009. articles in 2009. United States State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R. China (SIPO) People's Republic of China United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Japan Japan Patent Office (JPO) Sweden National Industrial Property Institute of France (INPI) India German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) 0 10 20 30 40 50 0 10 20 30 40 50 2009 Second-Generation Journal Articles (% total) 2009 Second-Generation Patent Documents (% total) Figure 5 - Researchers from the United States and the People’s Republic of Figure 7 - SIPO and the USPTO were the top two publishers of second- China were the top two contributors of second-generation bioethanol journal generation bioethanol patent documents in 2009. articles in 2009. 5
    • CAS Chemistry Research Report While comparatively limited, third- 50 Journal Articles generation bioethanol research has Patents 40 increased rapidly since 2007, with Published Documents the United States and Japan leading 30 discovery. Research into algae-based bioethanol re- 20 mains limited compared to first- and second- generation fuels. However, the total number 10 of published patent documents and journal articles related to third-generation bioethanol increased substantially in 2008 and 2009, with 0 patent documents accounting for most of the 1999 First-Generation Patent 2005 2009 2001 2003 Documents (% total) 2009 2007 growth. The total number of published re- search documents examining third-generation Figure 8 - Published research documents regarding third-generation bioethanol grew from just two documents in bioethanol increased dramatically from 2007 to 2009. 1999 to 49 in 2009 (Figure 8). Given the relatively small number of docu- United States ments involved, CAS considered the last 40 years as a group in analyzing geographic re- Japan search output about third-generation bioetha- nol. During this timeframe, the United States led the world in both journal and patent litera- United Kingdom ture pertaining to third-generation bioethanol, with Japan also emerging as a strong player in Australia this research space (Figures 9 and 10). Canada 0 10 20 30 40 50 Third-Generation Journal Articles (% total) Figure 9 - Chinese researchers were not among the top five contributors of third-generation bioethanol journal articles published from 1969-2009. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Japan Patent Office (JPO) National Industrial Property Institute of France (INPI) United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) 0 10 20 30 40 50 Third-Generation Patent Documents (% total) 6 Figure 10 - The USPTO led in third-generation bioethanol patent documents published from 1969-2009.
    • CAS Chemistry Research Report References 1. International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management, Towards Sustainable Production and Use of Resources: Assessing Biofuels. UNEP, 2009. 2. International Energy Agency, Sustainable Production of Second Generation Bio-Fuels: Potential and Perspectives in Major Economies and Developing Countries. 2010. About CAS Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society, is the world’s authority for chemical information. Our secure databases are curated and quality-controlled by CAS scientists, and recognized by chemical and pharmaceutical companies, universities, government organizations, and patent offices around the world as the chemical information gold standard. By combining these databases with advanced search and analysis technologies (SciFinder®, STN®, and Science IP® products and services), CAS delivers the most current, complete, and cross-linked digital information environment for scientific discovery. To learn more, visit www.cas.org. CAS 800-753-4227 (North America) 614-447-3700 (worldwide) help@cas.org www.cas.org 7
    • www.cas.org