What makes this Department of Energy report so promising is its comprehensive economic view. It examines the full range of biomass available as a valuable domestic resource and considers how it can not only can displace imported petroleum through domestic biofuels production, but also be used to produce biopower and bioproducts (including chemicals and materials). Beyond fuel, petroleum is used in literally thousands of products, including cosmetics, lotions, inks, drinking cups, candles, plastics, textiles, fabric and cleaning supplies. At our shop in Tiverton, RI, we seek out alternative products that are not petroleum-based, such as green cleaning products, beeswax candles, pillows printed with biobased dyes and organic lotions, soaps and other products. It takes time and research to find Barksfield’s inventory because so much of today’s market is geared toward petroleum-based products.
The Department of Energy report envisions “a thriving bioeconomy that would utilize domestic biomass resources available and convert it to an array of renewable chemicals and other products, transportation fuels, and fuel for power production. The impact would be substantial in terms of environmental benefits, with reduced greenhouse gas emissions; energy security with increased domestic production of fuels and renewable chemicals; and economic benefits through the development of biorefinery conversion facilities and markets for rural crops, residues, and wastes.”
A billion tons of sustainable resources. Produced here in the US. With significant environmental, economic, health and national security benefits. That’s an exciting vision.