Production of any biomass-derived product involves the integration of a long supply chain: surveying and securing land, selecting a suitable feedstock, evaluating transformation technologies, and establishing off-take agreements for the product. GIVE Global Energy is working on selecting, integrating, and managing biomass-based projects to produce electricity, biofuels, and biochemical.

Biomass and waste-based electricity is a low-risk, low-carbon alternative to coal and natural gas power production. Bioelectricity is indistinguishable from its fossil-based counterpart and there are several proven technologies that can produce it, including high-temperature incineration and gasification. GIVE has worked with electricity off-takers to secure agreements and establish collaborations for our bioelectricity projects. To date, GIVE has focused on agricultural waste products, though industrial and health hazardous wastes and energy crops offer great future prospects for the company.

In addition to electricity, biomass can be transformed to useful chemicals and fuels. Renewable commodity chemicals are economically attractive products that can be derived from sugar or starch with available industrial-scale technologies. The long list of partner national and local governments in several countries, together with the agronomic expertise in sugarcane and sweet sorghum, will allow GIVE to produce inexpensive sugar in extensive stretches of fertile land. Depending on the market, biofuels or biochemical can be produced from the sugar, making our platform attractive for multinational partners in both fronts. In addition, GIVE’s competence in the application of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology principles to industrial biotechnology will allow us to screen for projects at the forefront of the field.

Although bio-based chemicals can commonly fetch higher profit margins, biofuels have significant advantages in some geographies. Today, the most efficient form of bioenergy for transportation fuels is sugar-based ethanol (to be contrasted with starch-based ethanol, which is grain-derived). For all its potential, this process has been widely adopted only in Brazil. However, this technology can be replicated in several places around the world where there is productive land and high dependence on foreign oil, such as the Caribbean Islands. Because these projects involve relatively low technological risk, GIVE has begun by looking at projects in sugar-based ethanol and use of bagasse for heating and electricity applications.

Significant technological innovation can successfully interface with this platform process, for example, in the use of more productive biomass feedstocks, microorganisms tailored for the fuel production process, novel biorefinery designs, etc. In addition to the production of sugar-based fuels, we will be ready to transition in to cellulosic ethanol as the processes become economical. In fact, because sugarcane and sweet sorghum produce both sugar juice and bagasse, the latter being a cellulosic feedstock that can also be used for production of ethanol, we will be able to smoothly transition from using sugar to cellulosics. Other technologies in bioenergy have attracted significant attention, and GIVE is prepared to incorporate them in its portfolio when they are ready for commercialization.

For all these reasons, GIVE will establish itself in countries that can benefit from technologically-proven, independent energy sources. With a strong position in this arena, and a strong link to the best bioenergy research centers in the world, GIVE will be prepared to bring the next generation of biochemical and fuels with a manageable level of risk and high expected returns.
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