Prospects for carbon-negative biomanufacturing
Biomanufacturing has the potential to reduce demand for petrochemicals and mitigate climate change. Recent studies have also suggested that some of these products can be net carbon negative, effectively removing CO2 from the atmosphere and locking it up in products. This review explores the magnitude of carbon removal achievable through biomanufacturing and discusses the likely fate of carbon in a range of target molecules. Solvents, cleaning agents, or food and pharmaceutical additives will likely re-release their carbon as CO2 at the end of their functional lives, while carbon incorporated into non-compostable polymers can result in long-term sequestration. Future research can maximize its impact by focusing on reducing emissions, achieving performance advantages, and enabling a more circular carbon economy.