Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) reports that in 2009, China surpassed all other countries in the production of bioethanol patents, emerging as the global leader in the commercialization of bioethanol research.
In the CAS Chemistry Research Report: China Takes Lead in the Commercialization of Bioethanol, CAS examines 40 years of scientific research into biofuel development. Their key finding is that although US researchers continue to publish more scientific research about bioethanol than other countries, China now produces more bioethanol-related patents than anyone. Other important findings include:
- The US published 105 journal articles related to first- and second-generation bioethanol research in 2009, more than any other country.
- However, in the same year, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People’s Republic of China issued the most bioethanol-related patent documents (156).
- From 2000 to 2009, global research literature on second-generation bioethanol (derived from non-food sources, such as wheat stalks) grew 586%, including patenting activity that skyrocketed 2,341%.
- Research into second-generation bioethanol significantly outpaced examination of first-generation (derived from edible feedstocks) and third-generation (derived from algae) bioethanol.
- US researchers are foremost within the newest category of bioethanol research: third-generation, or algae-based, bioethanol.
The global research focus on second-generation bioethanol shows a rising interest in a category of fuels widely considered more sustainable, affordable, and environmentally friendly than bioethanol available today.
—Christine McCue, vice president of marketing at CAS