Patent analysis is a useful tool used to analyze patent information for technology management. Biofuels have been recognized as a new sustainable energy in the real world. Owing to the urgent demands for green energy technology, exploring the technological trends and evolution of biofuels has become an important issue. Among approaches of patent analysis, patent network analysis is popular for technology analysis. However, this approach is subject to several limitations. Therefore, this study proposes a weighted keyword-based patent network (WKPN) approach, which combines Delphi technique, analytic hierarchy process, and network analysis, to overcome the limitations in order to identify the technological trends and evolution of biofuels. The procedure for generating a WKPN includes extraction of patent keywords, calculation of weighted value for each keyword, establishment of similarity matrix, and construction of precise network. Furthermore, quantitative indexes are suggested to analyze technological implications from the WKPN. The results indicate that the development tendency of biofuels can be divided by conventional technology and green biorefinery technology based on biomass feedstocks. The technological evolution of biofuel production follows the sequence of liquid, gas and solid biofuels. This fact demonstrates that the critical factor in the development of biofuels is to find new waste materials as energy sources with lower energy consumption or larger energy output. These insights are beneficial to assist researchers in grasping and managing the future development in biofuels. The fruitful approach is not only capable of promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of patent analysis, but also identifying the development trends and evolution in the emerging field of energy technology.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 11, 2014
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