The oil and gas industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity driven by the need for increased productivity, energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and emission reduction, and the growing importance of technologies such as biofuel catalytic cracking, green hydrogen synthesis and carbon capture. In the last three years alone, there have been over 534,000 patents filed and granted in the oil and gas industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environment Sustainability in Oil & Gas: Bio-fuels. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 256,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the oil & gas industry, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Bio-fuels is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability
Biofuels are derived from biomass such as plants and animal waste or even from micro-organisms. They include ethanol (derived from edible sources such as corn, sorghum, sugarcane and wheat), green diesel (derived from non-edible sources such as agricultural waste, animal fats, and used cooking oils) and biogas (derived from animal waste).
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of bio-fuels.
Key players in bio-fuels – a disruptive innovation in the oil and gas industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to bio-fuels
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Anellotech is one of the leading companies involved in developing technologies to produce renewable chemicals and recycling mixed plastics. Chemicals and fuels are produced from sustainable, non-food biomass using the company's patented Bio-TCat (Thermal Catalytic Biomass Conversion) technology.
In April 2021, Total began producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at its La Mède biorefinery in southern France and its Oudalle facility near Le Havre. The bio jet fuel has been delivered to French airports since April 2021. The sustainable aviation fuel is made from animal fat, used cooking oil and other waste and residue sourced from the circular economy.
Energy, transportation, and environmental research are major focus areas for IFP Energies Nouvelles. The company is creating eco-efficient technologies in collaboration with industrial players to produce biofuels. A few biofuel production technologies include Vegan™, Futurol™, and BioTfueL® (thermochemical process).
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Top 20 Oil & Gas Themes 2022.