Biofuels – Hot Attraction among Alternative Energy Patent Seekers

Published on 12 Mar, 2014

  • The biofuel sector has attracted a considerable amount of research, with more than 2,500 patents filed every year since the past five years.
  • Numerous experiments have been performed for production of various types of biofuels such as bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas, syngas, bioethers and the technology related to their efficient utilisation.
  • It appears that research activity may increase in future due to the growing need of alternative energy sources to fulfil the energy demand among consumers and as a new diversion for economic growth.

Figure 1 depicts the filing trend for the past five years. As is clear from the filing trend, more or less equal number of patents was filed in this field of technology from 2008 to 2013.

Biofuels Patent Filing Trend

Figure 1: Filing Trend (Source: Aranca analysis based on Thomson Innovation data)


The most active assignees in this domain are Gen Electric, Shell Oil, China Petroleum and Chemical, Air Liquide, Korea Research Institute Chemical Technology, and BASF, followed by University Kunming Science and Technology, Celanese, University California, Great Point Energy, Sony, UOP, Siemens, University Tsinghua, University Nanjing and others as depicted in Figure 2 below.

Top Assignees Bio Fuel

Figure 2: Top assignees in the domain (Source: Aranca analysis based on Thomson Innovation data)


Some of the interesting research sectors explored by the top assignees in this domain are:

  • Gasification and liquefaction of solid waste: Involves conversion of carbon and hydrogen containing materials into biogas and other types of liquid biofuels
  • Method and apparatus for biogas and natural gas generation: Developing efficient fermentation tank and delivery device for biogas production
  • Use of cellulosic and lignocellulosic materials for biofuel production

In terms of preferred geographies for patent protection, China, USA, Denmark, Japan, Korea, Europe and others have been the key markets. China has been dominating the research space with approximately 4,405 inventions originating from the country.

Figure 3 showcases the distribution.

Origin of Invention & Jurisdiction Spread

Figure 3: Origin of invention – Jurisdiction spread (Source: Aranca Analysis based on Thomson Innovation data)

About Biofuels

About BiofuelsBiofuels are derived from renewable materials such as waste plant and animal matters. Use of biofuels leads to emission of less greenhouse gases compared to fossil fuels; therefore, it is a neat alternative to conventional fossil fuels. Different types of biofuels are bioethanol, biodiesel, bioethers, biogas, syngas, and green diesel.


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