While discourse provides one angle to analyse the development of bio-economies, it does not address the political-economic materialities of bio-based energy, products, and chemicals. The biophysical characteristics of these things both enable and limit the development of different bio-economies. This chapter analyses how certain forms of bio-economy are legitimated by their political-economic materialities. In the Canadian context, this has involved support for ‘drop-in’ biofuels, which are compatible with prevailing institutions, infrastructures, and value chains (e.g. combustion engine, automobiles, suburbia, etc.). Drop-in biofuels legitimate a particular form of the bio-economy that is politically popular because it need not entail a wholesale (and expensive) reconfiguration of societies and economies.
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