Sustainable biorenewables present a way to move away from our dependence on hydrocarbons and move towards a sustainable bio-based chemicals industry. IBCarb will support the development of sustainable biotechnologies and processes for the bioconversion and bioengineering of carbohydrates through synthetic biology, and the generation of tailor-made carbohydrate polymers with unique properties and novel applications.


A number of challenges in ‘Renewables’ that IBCarb will seek to address have already been identified. This list is not exclusive and more challenges will be identified at future IBCarb events.

Renewable biofuels

A large proportion of available biomass is in the form of carbohydrates – as we learn more about how these can be manipulated better biofuels may be produced or more efficiently and produced from a wider-range of feedstocks. There are several carbohydrate sources of energy which have not yet been exploited due to lack of knowledge about their behavior – indeed the whole process of photosynthesis is to generate carbohydrate compounds as an energy store.

New renewable feedstocks for the chemical industry based on carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are generally very useful compounds for conversion into building blocks their biodiversity and availability make them very attractive candidates. A whole range of new process for conversion of carbohydrates is possible through many examples of microbial enzymes, which exist and could be used on an industrial scale. It may also be possible to engineer tailor-made carbohydrate polymers with unique properties or with novel applications through the application of synthetic biology.