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6 Global bioethanol (black line) and biodiesel (gray line) production 1975–2007 (source: UNEP, 2009). unit. The larger the size of the agricultural field, factory or tank, the higher the probability that only big business will be able to benefit first hand from biofuel production. Future technology developments should consider the design of smalland medium-scale units that are more accessible to SMEs in order to allow for a more socially distributed benefit. 1 How Could the New SB Application Impact Society at Large?

And Calvert, J. (2008) Knowledge-making distinctions in synthetic biology. Bioessays, 30, 57–65. , and BillerAndorno, N. (2009) A priority paper for the societal and ethical aspects of synthetic biology. Syst. Synth. , 3, 3–7. Sterling, A. (1999) On Science and Precaution In the Management of Technological Risk. An ESTO Project Report Prepared for the European Commission – JRC Institute Prospective Technological Studies. pdf (accessed 7 September 2010). 1 Introduction In 1973, over 86% of the world’s total primary energy supply came from fossil fuels.

2012 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. Published 2012 by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. 8 1 Biofuels than 5% of total fuel consumption. Nevertheless, current biofuel production is based only on the exploitation of the storage organs of agricultural plants (sugars or oils). Research and development efforts are necessary to diversify the feedstock available, to limit the impact on food markets, and to produce more efficient molecules as biofuels. This new SB application is probably one of the success keys, as suggested by new petroleum investments (Exxon’s investment in Craig Venter’s synthetic genomics start up, BP invested in Qteros, French Total invested in Gevo, Amyris and Coskata).

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