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Energy News Monitoring

Bioenergy 2019/ key indicators

Recent Inventions / Brief Overview

The present review contains brief statistical information on patent applications published in 2019 in patent offices around the world and relate to the production of energy from biomass (Algae; Biomass-to-liquids (Fischer-Tropsch); Biogas; Cellulosic ethanol; Biomass gasification; Landfill gas; Methane from wastewater; Pyrolysis & torrefaction; Other and unspecified technologies).

As of the date of this publication the collection of patent applications found comprised 1076 documents from 30 patent offices, prepared by 523 applicants from 39 countries. This is approximately 30% documents less compared to the previous year.

The patent office of US became the leader by the number of registered patent applications in 2019 in this field – 262 documents, which comprised more than 24% of the total number of documents. The top three leaders also included patent offices of the CNIPA (CN) and EPO. Almost 90% of patent documents were filed in the top 10 patent offices. Compared to the previous year, noticeable changes took place in the list of leaders. Thus, the position of the patent office of Malaysia was taken by the patent office of Mexico. The number of patent documents, registered in the patent offices of China, Brazil, S. Korea, Canada and WIPO substantially declined. To a considerable extent, the offices of the US, EPO and JPO retained their positions by the number of documents. The volume of patenting increased in Australia.

Distribution of patent applications, published by the top 10 patent offices

OffiseNumber of documents 2019Share of total, %
United States Patent and Trademark Office26224.3
State Intellectual Property Office, China19818.4
European Patent Office15814.7
National Institute of Industrial Property, Brazil857.9
IP Australia676.2
Japan Patent Office615.7
World Intellectual Property Organization575.3
Korean Intellectual Property Office, South Korea282.6
Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial, Mexico252.3
Canadian Intellectual Property Office181.7
Grand Total95989.1

Source: Advanced Energy Technologies

The representatives of the US, China and France were the most productive by the number of registered applications – 30.1%, 10.1 and 8.5% of the total number, respectively. The United States' and France's shares of participation in the patenting process substantially rose – by more than 5%, and by almost 3.5%, respectively. The patenting activity of representatives of China substantially decreased.

Distribution of countries of the world by the number of resident applicants in patent applications

Source: Advanced Energy Technologies

The following patent offices were particularly popular among non-residents: the US with 138 documents, which is 53% of the total number of documents, registered in this patent office; China – 97 documents, or 55%; and the European Patent Organisation – 50 patent application (32%). All off the applicants who patented their inventions in the patent offices of Russia and Mexico were non-residents, while in the offices of Australia and Canada their share comprised 93% and 94% respectively. In addition to resident applicants, the representatives of 24 countries of the world patented their inventions in the patent office of the US; 19 countries – in the office of Brazil; and 25 countries in the office of China.

More than 20% of the total number of patent applications revised in one or other way in virtually equal extent were dedicated to Biomass gasification processes. In addition, the interest of inventors was also attracted by Biogas technology, production of Methane from wastewater, as well as to production of fuel from Algae.

Distribution of technical categories in found patent applications

Source: Advanced Energy Technologies

AL – Algae; BFT - Biomass-to-liquids (Fischer-Tropsch); BG - Biogas; CE - Cellulosic ethanol; GF - Biomass gasification; LFG - Landfill gas; MW - Methane from wastewater; OU - Other and unspecified technologies; PT - Pyrolysis & torrefaction

In the vast majority of cases the technical solutions proposed in the patent applications concerned the problem of Low efficiency of main processes. Among other problems, a fairly large number of inventions were aimed at solving Low efficiency of product treatment, High OPEX / Poor performance, as well as High OPEX / Utilization. Compared to last year, the number of patent applications dedicated to Environmental and social impact dropped sharply.
Most often, patent applications were assigned to the following groups of the International Patent Classification
C12M 1/00 (Apparatus for enzymology or microbiology), C12P 7/00 (Preparation of oxygen-containing organic compounds) and C12P 7/64 (Fats; Fatty oils; Ester-type waxes; Higher fatty acids…), the total volume of which exceeded 5.3%.
Among the technological elements, the most popular were Primary processing, Pre-treatment of feedstock, Finishing treatment and Secondary equipment.

More detailed information on the methodology as well as on the results of patent researches in the most important fields of contemporary energy industry can be found at Advanced Energy Technologies.