Hydrothermal biomass processing for green energy transition: insights derived from principal component analysis of international patents


As efforts to achieve Net Zero are intensifying, there is a strong need to identify the technological positioning of green process innovations that can support the green energy transition. A veritable contender to support these efforts is the hydrothermal biomass processing technology. This process innovation comprises diverse techniques that can convert biomass substrates into valuable low-carbon fuels. Coordination across all available conversion approaches is encouraged to propel the application of those that consider the environmental and sustainability impacts. We assessed the innovation intensity for different techniques under this green process innovation through applying natural language processing and deployment of principal component analysis on patent data. We positioned our techniques within four distinctive groups (intense, dormant, emerging, and exploratory). In this way, we tracked which hydrothermal technique currently dominates international applications and which ones are gaining traction in the future.