Biorefineries - industrial processes and products: status quo and future directions

Biorefineries - industrial processes and products: status quo and future directions    

Birgit Kamm, Patrick R Gruber and Michael Kamm (eds)   

Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH  2006 | 928pp (two vols) | ?175 (HB) | ISBN 3527310274  

Reviewed by Frank Rosillo-Calle 

I have been involved in biomass for over 25 years and have perceived a gradual but growing shift towards greater use of plant matter as a feedstock for both energy and chemical products.   

This book reinforces my view that, finally, we are witnessing the beginning of a historic transition thanks to the combination of high oil prices, environmental awareness, lower cost of plant material, and the development of biorefineries. True, we have had many failed starts. 

The book covers a wide range of topics and is, to my knowledge, the best and most comprehensive review of biorefineries. It is the work of 85 experts from universities, R&D institutes, industry and commerce. 

The authors address the challenges of moving towards a sustainable society in which biological feedstocks, processes and products become the main pillars of the economy, together with the science and technology that makes this transition possible, including economic, infrastructure and policy issues.   

This book is extremely timely, compulsory reading for experts in the field. Also, being concise and easy to read, it is suitable for the non-specialist.