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Economic growth has been the cause of many environmental problems due to unbridled consumption of natural resources and the mismanagement of waste products.
Sustainability is the use of renewable resources, preserving the natural environment and the world’s resources for future generations whilst still delivering economic growth.
It has become impossible for enterprises and governments to negate the impact of the "triple bottom line" of economic, environmental and social sustainability.
Finite Resources – most liquid fuels and industrial chemicals are made from crude oil. Oil, the backbone of our economies, is a finite resource whose production is projected to peak in the medium term with concomitant shortages and price rises. Industrial nations’ dependency on oil leads to forced reliance on uncertain supply and balance of trade issues that governments are very keen to limit.
TMO technology will enable the use of widely available, locally grown renewable resources.
Economic Feedstock Alternatives – The prices of current renewable feedstocks for the production of liquid fuels and chemicals (e.g. cane sugar, corn and other cereals) fluctuate strongly with their availability and their value within the food chain.
TMO technology will enable producers to use low value biomass waste, non-food energy crops and lignocellulosic biomass as feedstocks instead.
Mature Process Technologies – Current fuel and chemicals production technologies have been developed over decades, are extremely efficient and have little room for improvement in process economics. Similarly, existing fermentation industries exclusively use labour intensive batch operations and sensitive ambient temperature micro-organisms with corresponding low productivity.
TMO technology will provide significant economic benefits through, inter alia, significantly increased production rates, continuous procesing and minimal cooling costs.
Environmental pressures – One of the key concerns for producers and regulatory agencies is to minimize the pollution caused by fuel and chemical production. Severe financial costs and heavy environmental burdens are placed upon producers. In addition, governments around the world are creating incentives for green products and implementing concomitant disincentives on products deemed not environmentally friendly.
TMO technology has minimal waste products, poses no hazards to its surroundings and uses sustainable raw materials.
Climate Change – As a result of the Kyoto Agreement there is growing pressure on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The goal is to provide alternative fuels and chemicals whose emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are close to zero.
TMO technology’s potential contribution to CO2 abatement via renewable transportation fuels and non-fossil plastics is vast.