03.06.2013Review: CLIB forum shale gas
Shale gas is currently a topic of high interest and intensively discussed. Even though the concern of brewers if shale gas may have an effect on the purity of beer is currently dominating the German media, we wanted to focus on the question what kind of implications shale gas has on industrial biotechnology and bioeconomy now and may have in the future. Are low gas prices inhibiting the development of technologies for the production of bio-based chemicals? And to what extent is the development of shale gas an issue for Germany?

To address these and other issues CLIB2021 invited to a "shale gas" forum in Dusseldorf on 23 May. That this topic is of great interest was not only shown by the large number of more than 40 participants from industry, research and politics but also by the subsequent lively discussions.
In their presentations, Dr. Rübbert (DECHEMA), Mrs. Falk (ExxonMobil) and Mr. Hoeller (Wuppertal Institute GmbH) gave very interesting insights into different aspects of the shale gas topic.

For biotechnology companies it is important to focus on products such as aromatics and long-chain hydrocarbons that cannot be easily produced from shale gas. The production of bioengineered additives for the fracking process is another possibility. However, this area is subject to very high pricing pressure.

Mrs. Falk reported that companies such as Exxon Mobil do intense research to reduce the amount of fracking chemicals used and the utilization of non-toxic substances.
In Germany, the production of shale gas is highly debated and viewed very critical by the population for various reasons, even though the fracking process has been used for more than 50 years in conventional natural gas production already.

An extensive review is available in the members area