The value pyramid of biomass conversion: At the bottom, with lowest value, is the bulk use of biomass for combustion, making heat and electricity. Next layer is using biomass for biofuel, a much needed renewable alternative to fossil transport fuel. Further up the biomass value pyramid, is production of specialized and higher value products (materials, chemicals, feed, food and pharma). Such products are not only substituting for fossils but also making use of the complex structures of new biomass, making products not possible to make from fossilized biomass. All uses except for burning, gasification, etc., of the biomass involve use of microbial (primarily fungal) conversion and upgrade. Courtesy of Peter Westermann.