Académie des technologies



An Academic Communication by the Standing Committee on Energy and Climate Change – Feb. 2010


In a context where it is obvious that there will be a gradual rarefaction of fossil fuels, and hence a increased price for the fuels, biotechnologies present a dual advantage, that of renewable sources of production and a net gain in energy. Moreover, given the vegetable origins of the fuels, bio-fuels lead to a clear reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in comparison with equivalent fossil energy products.

France’s Government has committed itself to a voluntarism stance since the outset of the 21st Century, by encouraging and financing the creation of complete industrial processes: from the field to the factory. The process therefore includes crop-growing and storage of cereals and beetroot used to produce ethanol, and colza and sunflowers for the production of vegetable oil, that are raw materials of vegetable origin which, after chemical transformation can be substituted for petrol and diesel fuel.

In order to widen the scope of raw materials that can be processed, and in particular the use of agricultural, forestry and household wastes which, because of their composition, are not to be seen as competitors with agricultural products also used in food industries, new technologies are currently being developed in several countries, France included.

NATF in this report gives the state-of-the-art of these industrial research developments and sketches some of the scenarios that by yr.2030 when it is forecast that the pricing of fossil fuels will become really serious and will thus position bio-fuels as an important ingredient (but in part only) of the energy bouquet of sources specific to the future needs of terrestrial transportation.

Les biocarburants