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Efforts were made to demonstrate that in biorefineries it is possible to manufacture all the commodities required for maintaining human civilisation on the current level. Biorefineries are based on processing biomass resulting from photosynthesis. From sugars, oils and proteins, a variety of food, feed, nutrients, pharmaceuticals, polymers, chemicals and fuels can further be produced. Production in biorefineries must be based on a few rules to fulfil sustainable development: all raw materials are derived from biomass, all products are biodegradable and production methods are in accordance with the principles of Green Chemistry and Clean Technology. The paper presents a summary of state-of-the-art concerning biorefineries, production methods and product range of leading companies in the world that are already implemented. Potential risks caused by the development of biorefineries, such as: insecurities of food and feed production, uncontrolled changes in global production profiles, monocultures, eutrophication, etc., were also highlighted in this paper. It was stressed that the sustainable development is not only an alternative point of view but is our condition to survive.
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