The bioeconomy provides a possible solution for the increasing demand on natural resources by substitution of the nonrenewable resources with resources derived from biomass, thus reducing the environmental impact of fossil fuels. A fundamental unit that will enable the bioeconomy implementation is biorefinery. The bioeconomy is a collective term for the complex system that includes biomass production, transportation, conversion into products, and product distribution. In this chapter, we introduce the concept of offshore marine biorefineries as potential drivers for the bioeconomy of the future. We discuss fundamental thermodynamics principles that determine the optimum scale of biorefineries and put the limit for the services area for a single-processing unit. We provide a review of the current methods to produce biomass offshore. Next, we exemplify the marine biorefineries, which show co-production of several products from the same biomass, thus reducing the waste and maximizing economic benefit from the unit. In addition, we discuss the economic and environmental challenges of marine biorefineries as an emerging platform for society transition to low-carbon economy.
- Green technology
- Renewable energy