How biotech is fueling climate solutions

With the International Energy Agency predicting a major surge in CO2 production this year, the Biden administration is looking to reassert U.S. leadership on climate, hosting a two-day virtual summit of world leaders that kicks off on Earth Day (Thursday). Ahead of the event, we’ve been looking at ways in which biotech solutions can help us meet our climate policy goals—and especially reducing the footprint of transportation.

Transportation is the greatest source of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the United States, contributing about 28% of the country’s total GHG emissions, according to the EPA.

But biotech is helping to clean it up. Sustainable biofuels are a vital tool in reducing GHG emissions and are produced by several BIO member companies. For example:

Gevo makes low-carbon jet fuel made from renewable plant material and genetic engineering that works with the current petro-based fuel delivery systems.

LanzaTech recycles waste industrial gases produced in steelmaking and other heavy industry to make ethanol that can be used for low-carbon products such as aviation fuel. The company is already working with airlines including Virgin Atlantic and Japan’s All Nippon Airways.

POET is the world’s largest producer of biofuels, making them from both grain and non-grain cellulose. The company also captures carbon dioxide at some of their plants for reuse in food processing, water treatment, fire suppression, and agriculture.

In addition to sustainable fuels, the biofuel produced by these companies has been used to clean up fragrances and make much-needed hand sanitizers during the pandemic.

Read more about what BIO and the Biden administration are doing to support the development of sustainable aviation fuel.

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