Industrial Biotechnology - An Industry at an Inflection Point

Nathan Danielson*, Sarah McKay, Paul Bloom, Jennifer Dunn, Neal Jakel, Timothy Bauer, John Hannon, Michael C. Jewett, Brent Shanks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Industrial biotechnology is poised for dramatic growth. A confluence of consumer demand; attractive feedstock quantity, quality, and price; and technical innovation has created a perfect situation for the industry to significantly expand. Since the 2004 Werpy and Peterson paper, "Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass,"the biobased manufacturing industry and the technologies that make these processes and products possible has evolved significantly.1 New technology continues to advance, and there is increasing consumer and industry demand for biobased materials. Paired with increasing on-farm efficiency and sustainability considerations, these are all factors that are driving the bioeconomy forward. This paper reviews these factors and illustrates where the technology can head, identifying opportunities for utilizing corn-based sugars as a feedstock for near-term, high-impact products in the biorenewable space. Furthermore, this paper suggests what policies should be considered to move the industry towards the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-332
Number of pages12
JournalIndustrial Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • biomaterials
  • feedstocks
  • policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology


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