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KiOR plans to use only feedstock that has been grown and sustainably harvested for commercial use in its facilities. What’s more, by emphasizing non-food, rain-fed feedstocks, KiOR intends to minimize the environmental impact and water use involved in the entire lifecycle of its production process.

In America, there is a vast landscape of surplus biomass – including degraded land not suitable for food production – which greatly exceeds what is needed for KiOR’s commercial plans. According to the USDA Forest Service, there was an estimated 18% surplus of softwood in the South from 2005-2008, defined as the proportion by which growth of trees exceeds harvest. More than 95% of that surplus was Southern Yellow Pine, KiOR’s primary feedstock for its first facilities.

Furthermore, a US Department of Energy study in 2005 estimated that in the US alone, almost a billion tons of unutilized, sustainable biomass may be available. Eventually, KiOR expects that the ability of its technology to accept a variety of feedstocks will allow feedstock producers to increase biodiversity in cultivating biomass.