01 May 2019

April partner meeting round-up

The most recent partner meeting was hosted by RINA in Genova, Italy. Project partners came together to review the progress of actions set during the previous meeting in October and looked closely at results from specific studies in the valorisation of intermediates in high added-value products and preliminary LCA and LCC evaluations.

Dissemination partners, Insight Publishers commenced the meeting providing detail on the exploitation and communication of the on-going project developments and results. This included open discussions on the first Rehap webinar, a second workshop and the project’s place in IPL’s Projects Magazine on the energy efficiency industry.

RINA continued by explaining preliminary LCA and LCC studies on four main materials: Bio-PUR, wooden boards, green concrete and PU adhesives. A short LCA/LCC session was then held with partners to revise the value chains and set benchmarks of these materials.

The second day was opened by Lars Wietschel from UNIA who have published papers on feedstock price analysis and feedstock potential with another paper planned on further work on waste management.

Pieter Brabander from BBEPP elaborated on the lab trials for the planned upscaling of processes for the fermentation of 1,4-BDO and 2,3-BDO, before Rehap coordinator Aitor Barrio led detailed discussions with partners on the on-going research and developments in the valorisation of intermediates in the high added-value products. Partners were reminded to update the Risks table when completing their research.

To round off the meeting, Martin Mosquet introduced partners focused on the application of these products in the final construction elements (concrete, wooden panels, PU adhesives, insulation). LaFarage-Holcim, Foresa, Rampf and Collanti touched on their initial plans of this process for the next six months. In particular, the parameters for the tests that need to be done to develop these products.

The next meeting is proposed to take place in November, when the actions of the next six months will be reviewed. Location TBC.

For more information, please contact Aitor Barrio: aitor.barrio@tecnalia.com

26 Apr 2019

How to convert wheat straw waste into green chemicals

The development of new bio-refining technologies based on agricultural waste is seen as key to reducing Europe’s dependency on fossil-based products. According to a White Paper by the International Council on Clean Transportation, about 144 million tonnes of wheat residues accumulate each year in the EU. Supported by the EU-funded OPTISOCHEM project, researchers have made significant progress in transforming this excess material into something more useful: bio-isobutene, or bio-IBN, a key precursor for numerous chemicals.

The project involves several processes such as the conversion of wheat straw into hydrolysate and its fermentation into isobutene. This material is then converted into oligomers and polymers. A press release by project coordinator Global Bioenergies states that “currently underutilized residual wheat straw has been converted at demo scale into second generation renewable bio-isobutene, and will eventually be transformed into oligomers and polymers usable in lubricants, rubbers, cosmetics, solvents, plastics, or fuels applications.”

Planned activities

Quoted in the same press release, Jean-François Boideau, EMEA Commercial General Manager at project partner INEOS Oligomers, says: “To date, we received several batches of bio-isobutene from Global Bioenergies for qualification purpose[s], and the quality is promising. During the next phase of the project, INEOS is ready to evaluate conversion of additional quantities of bio-isobutene into downstream products in order to assess the potential of this bio-based feedstock as a building block for end consumer applications.” Frederic Pâques, COO of Global Bioenergies, adds: “We expect to produce several tons of bio-isobutene on this new non-conventional feedstock in the remaining periods of the project.”

Various benefits

The project website notes that the partners hope to make use of the “technical, economic as well as environmental/social sustainability performances” for a commercial biorefinery. The ongoing OPTISOCHEM (OPTimized conversion of residual wheat straw to bio-ISObutene for bio based CHEMicals) project is funded by the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a public-private partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. The project will run until May 2021.

As summarised on the BBI JU project web page, OPTISOCHEM aims to achieve a rise in “the yield of targeted bio-based product(s)” by over 20 % and lessen “production costs of bio-based products by 10-20%, compared to current market situation.” Another expected impact of the project involves “savings, in terms of CO2 emissions per kg product by more than 20% for bio-catalytic as compared to state-of-the-art production methods.” The partners also plan to cut “energy consumption by more than 30% for bio-catalytic processes.”

Overall, the BBI JU is expected to provide several environmental and socioeconomic benefits, as summarised on its website: “The new bio-based products resulting from the BBI JU will on average reduce CO2 emissions by at least 50% compared to their fossil alternatives.” It emphasises that these products will be “comparable and/or superior to fossil-based products in terms of price, performance, availability and environmental benefits.”

(Article sourced from: www.cordis.europa.eu/news/rcn/130991/en)

08 Apr 2019

Webinar: Biomass feedstock and valorisation

Webinar

Biomass feedstock and valorisation
An introduction and insight into transforming agroforestry waste into high
added-value commercial and sustainable products developed by the REHAP project

8 May 2019 – Watch live and on demand. Register today!

Responding to the ambitious targets set in the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy of sustainable patterns of consumption and production, REHAP is an EU-funded project facilitating a significant step towards a better use of natural resources by creating novel materials from agricultural and forestry waste, whilst decreasing the use of fossil resources and energy in the process industry.

The project’s first webinar takes a close look at the progress being made after two years’ work in creating these novel materials from agriculture and forestry waste for commercial use in the green construction sector. Expert project partners from the University of Augsburg, Tecnalia, VTT Research Centre and Rina Consulting will be leading discussions on the following topics:

  • An introduction to REHAP and the project’s main objectives.
  • Waste management – forecasting of feedstock potentials in the EU.
  • Optimisation of biomass waste stream processing and upscaling.
  • Market analysis and life cycle assessment (LCA) of REHAP processes.

The webinar will divulge on-going project results to provide a picture of the processes the project is developing and using to produce and up-scale waste material into pilot scale eco-friendly products and demonstrate their sustainability and business potential compared to existing solutions.

Get involved and speak out

During the webinar you will have the opportunity to submit any questions you may have to the speakers, which will be answered live during the designated Q&A session at the end of the webinar.

Who should attend?

This webinar will interest professionals in companies and institutions that are related to the production of low-value residues such as bark, wheat straw and sawmill. This might include the pulp and paper industry, biorefineries, forest proprietaries, sawmills, farmers and forest associations, amongst others.

Also, those in the chemical industries of the likes of phenolic resin manufacturing, polyurethane industries and adhesive manufacturing could be interesting to know about new biosources for their raw materials.

Registering for the webinar will also allow you to become part of a growing network of key actors in the biomass and bioeconomy space in Europe, taking part in discussions and learning lessons about this important sector as it quickly develops.

Join us at the webinar to learn how REHAP is strengthening the bioeconomy. Register here!

 

19 Mar 2019

Engineered microbe may be key to producing plastic from plants

With a few genetic tweaks, a type of soil bacteria with an appetite for hydrocarbons shows promise as a biological factory for converting a renewable — but frustratingly untapped — bounty into a replacement for ubiquitous plastics.

Researchers, like those at the University of Wisconsin–Madison-based, Department of Energy-funded Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, hoping to turn woody plants into a replacement for petroleum in the production of fuels and other chemicals have been after the sugars in the fibrous cellulose that makes up much of the plants’ cell walls.

Much of the work of procuring those sugars involves stripping away lignin, a polymer that fills the gaps between cellulose and other chemical components in those cell walls.

That leaves a lot of useful cellulose, but also a lot of lignin — which has never carried much value. Paper mills have been stripping lignin from wood to make paper for more than a century, and finding so little value in the lignin that it’s simply burned in the mills’ boilers.

“They say you can make anything from lignin except money,” says Miguel Perez, a UW–Madison graduate student in civil and environmental engineering.

But they may not know Novosphingobium aromaticivorans as well as he does.

Perez, civil and environmental engineering professor Daniel Noguera and colleagues at GLBRC and the Wisconsin Energy Institute have published in the journal Green Chemistry a strategy for employing N. aromaticivorans to turn lignin into a more valuable commodity.

“Lignin is the most abundant source — other than petroleum — of aromatic compounds on the planet,” Noguera says, like those used to manufacture chemicals and plastics from petroleum. But the large and complex lignin molecule is notoriously hard to efficiently break into useful constituent pieces.

Enter the bacterium, which was first isolated while thriving in soil rich in aromatic compounds after contamination by petroleum products.

Where other microbes pick and choose, N. aromaticivoransis a biological funnel for the aromatics in lignin. It is unique in that it can digest nearly all of the different pieces of lignin into smaller aromatic hydrocarbons.

“Other microbes tried before may be able to digest a few types of aromatics found in lignin,” Perez says. “When we met this microbe, it was already good at degrading a wide range of compounds. That makes this microbe very promising.”

In the course of its digestion process, the microbe turns those aromatic compounds into 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylic acid — more manageably known as PDC. By removing three genes from their microbe, the researchers turned the intermediate PDC into the end of the line. These engineered bacteria became a funnel into which the different lignin pieces go, and out of which PDC flows.

Bioengineers in Japan have used PDC to make a variety of materials that would be useful for consumer products.

“They have found out the compound performs the same or better than the most common petroleum-based additive to PET polymers — like plastic bottles and synthetic fibers — which are the most common polymers being produced in the world,” Perez says.

Miguel Perez It would be an attractive plastic alternative — one that would break down naturally in the environment, and wouldn’t leach hormone-mimicking compounds into water — if only PDC were easier to come by.

“There’s no industrial process for doing that, because PDC is so difficult to make by existing routes,” says Noguera. “But if we’re making biofuels from cellulose and producing lignin — something we used to just burn — and we can efficiently turn the lignin into PDC, that potentially changes the market for industrial use of this compound.”

For now, the engineered variation on N. aromaticivorans can turn at least 59 percent of lignin’s potentially useful compounds into PDC. But the new study suggests greater potential, and Perez has targets for further manipulation of the microbe.

“If we can make this pipeline produce at a sufficient rate, with a sufficient yield, we might create a new industry,” Noguera says.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has filed a patent application on this technology.

THIS RESEARCH WAS FUNDED BY GRANTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (BER DE-FC02-07ER64494 AND DE-SC0018409) AND THE CHILEAN NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL RESEARCH. 

(Article sourced from: www.news.wisc.edu/engineered-microbe-may-be-key-to-producing-plastic-from-plants/)

14 Mar 2019

Design the penetration of Non-food Crops (NFC) into European agriculture: PANACEA Project

The Horizon 2020 PANACEA project aims to set up a thematic network to foster the effective exchange between research, industry and the farming community in order to design the penetration path of Non-food Crops (NFC) into European agriculture.

Non-food Crops (NFC) are used to produce a wide range of bio-products and bioenergy. In spite of considerable investment in R&D and the increasing need of bio-based industries for feedstock, NFCs are not widespread in EU agriculture. This is mainly due to challenges in supply chains and gaps in policy framework and investment incentives.

Aims of the project

PANACEA project aims to set up a thematic network to foster the effective exchange between research, industry and the farming community. In this way, direct applicable solutions will be widely disseminated as well as grassroots-level needs and innovative ideas will thoroughly captured in order to design the penetration path of NFC into European agriculture.

There are many objectives that PANACEA project is finalized at pursuing.

One of these is to create an inventory of long-term scientific results generated through R&I projects on the sustainable production of NFC as well as to identify those that are close to implementation in agricultural and forestry practice. Another one is to analyse the role that NFC can play in the renaissance of European rural areas taking into consideration the farmers’ and bio-based industries’ needs and interests.

To establish a strong and interactive multi-actor forum will be also fundamental, by involving a wide range of actors from science, industry and agricultural practice that will facilitate capturing and spreading innovative ideas.

At the same time, the PANACEA project will establish capacity building activities through substantial training courses and educational material with practice-oriented knowledge on specific value chains that will be easily accessible and available in the long term beyond the project period. Not only; the projects aims to develop, operate and maintain the PANACEA platform which will offer a range of services to key stakeholders and end-users on NFC, including: knowledge sharing, communication and networking, assessment of the economic and environmental aspects of NFC, and matching between the supply and demand sides.

The last PANACEA’s aim is to disseminate the project findings at large scale, following an extended exploitation and dissemination plan that will be active throughout the project and beyond. In the meanwhile, the project will ensure the sustainability of the Thematic Network on non-food crops through its link with EU wide initiatives, especially the EIP-AGRI and its Operational Groups.

PANACEA’s approach

For achieving its goal, PANACEA follows a multi-actor approach, including in the partnership researchers, agrimarket players, farmers’ organisations and other practitioners from different EU countries. In this way applied research and innovation results on a variety of NFC will flow across geographical areas in EU and reach the practitioners.

The work planned in the network follows interactive procedures, thus the applied knowledge and information already obtained by the practitioners is fed back to the researchers to enrich the relevant scientific research findings. It is recognised that the observed lack in market development for NFC is primarily the result of fragmented communication and slow exchange of science based evidence with day-to-day agricultural practices on the ground. Grassroots-level ideas, needs and success stories across EU will be analysed and extended to practitioners. Roadmaps mainstreaming NFC into European agriculture will be produced.

(Article sourced from: www.besustainablemagazine.com)

05 Mar 2019

US-based scientist uncovers potential ‘sustainable’ refining method for lignin.

Lignocellulosic biorefinery needs to use complete feedstock to produce different products and if possible, high-value products, to make the refinery economically feasible. This requires new biorefinery processes like SOFA.”

A US scientist has claimed to have found a cost-effective way of extracting lignin from lignocellulosic biomass using selective organic solvent extraction. This method is also known as SOFA – a process that uses different conditions such as pH and temperature to derive lignin with different chemistry.

Dr. Joshua Yuan, chair of Synthetic Biology and Renewable products at Texas A&M University (@TAMU), has recently published his research findings in Green Chemistry, the peer-reviewed journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

He has promoted the use of the SOFA extraction method and other refining processes to produce multiple lignin streams.

This process is used so that a variety of lignin particles with different features can be produced,” Yuan said. “This will allow different functionality. It is an important consideration for applications like drug delivery and nanocomposites.”

As a result, he said, tailoring the lignin chemistry using SOFA provides a sustainable means for upgrading the low-value lignin and thus contributes to the profitability of biorefineries.

High-value products

Sustainable biorefinery heavily depends on the generation of value-added products, particularly from lignin. Despite considerable efforts, the production of fungible lignin bio-products is still hindered by the poor fractionation and low reactivity of lignin, according to the journal article.

Yuan said that lignocellulosic biomass can be used to produce second-generation biofuel, or advanced biofuel, which will be a sustainable and alternative solution to traditional fossil fuel. He added that grass-like sorghum and switchgrass can be grown to fix carbon dioxide and processed into ethanol for fuel.

He explained: “Considering the high yield of energy sorghum, energy cane and other feedstock, the productivity per acre is much higher than corn ethanol. This will reduce carbon balance and improve the energy output of biofuel. For perennial feedstock like switchgrass and energy cane, it also promotes soil and water conservation as well as biodiversity.”

Cost-effectiveness

Yuan said the problem is that lignin is the waste in this biorefinery process, which negatively impacts the economics and sustainability of the biorefinery. He said the utilisation of lignin for high-value products will improve biorefinery cost-effectiveness and sustainability significantly.

“Lignin nanoparticle is a high-value product that could achieve this, when it is used for bulk products like slow-release fertiliser,” he said. “Another very important aspect is that lignin is generally considered safe and biocompatible. And lignin nanoparticle can be used for drug delivery.”

Yuan said one of the most important challenges in biorefinery, specifically lignocellulosic biorefinery, is to utilise lignin for high-value products, Yuan said.

“Most of the current biorefinery configuration focuses on ethanol as the single product, which brings limited value to the output,” he said. “If you look at the corn ethanol biorefinery, they have distillers grains and corn oil as the by-products to add value, so that the refinery can make money. In the same way, the petroleum biorefinery industry utilises every bit of feedstock to produce different (preferably higher value) products.

“Lignocellulosic biorefinery needs to use complete feedstock to produce different products and if possible, high-value products, to make the refinery economically feasible. This requires new biorefinery processes like SOFA.”

Yuan said a plant cell wall has three major components: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Both cellulose and hemicellulose are sugar-based, and can be used for ethanol fermentation.

He went on to say: “But lignin is an aromatic polymer, and we need to find good use for it. This paper provides one of the solutions.

“My lab has been focused on this, and we have developed routes to produce high quality carbon fibre, nanoparticles, asphalt binder modifier, bio-plastics and bio-diesel from lignin. This research was supported by the (US) Department of Energy Bioenergy Technology Office.”

(Article sourced from: www.biobasedworldnews.com/us-scientist-uncovers-potential-sustainable-refining-method-for-lignin)

18 Feb 2019

First production of isobutene from wheat straw at demo scale

Aim of the project is a new value chain combining Global Bioenergies bio-Isobutene process with technologies developed by Clariant and INEOS

  • New phase for the H2020 Optisochem project after 18 months of activity
  • Sugars from wheat straw produced at Clariant’s Sunliquid® pre-commercial plant have been shipped to Global Bioenergies’ Leuna demo plant
  •  Successful test runs for production of straw-based isobutene, batches delivered to INEOS for evaluation

Global Bioenergies today announces that runs using wheat straw hydrolysate provided by its partner Clariant were successfully performed in its Leuna demo plant, leading to the production of cellulosic isobutene for the first time at this scale. These runs were part of OPTISOCHEM, a project which started in June 2017 and was granted €9.8 million by the Bio Based Industry-Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) as part of the H2020 program.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate a new value chain combining Global Bioenergies bio-Isobutene process with technologies developed by Clariant and INEOS, two of Europe’s leading chemical companies: currently underutilized residual wheat straw has been converted at demo scale into second generation renewable bio-isobutene, and will eventually be transformed into oligomers and polymers usable in lubricants, rubbers, cosmetics, solvents, plastics, or fuels applications. The intense R&D cooperation will continue until May 2021.

OPTISOCHEM focuses on the demonstration of a new value chain, based on the combination of the technologies and know-how of the participants from four EU member states:

  • Conversion of straw into glucose- and xylose-rich hydrolysates by Clariant sunliquid® technology (Germany),
  • Fermentation of the straw hydrolysates into bio-isobutene by Global Bioenergies (France and Germany),
  • Conversion of bio-isobutene into oligomers and polymers by INEOS (Germany and France),
  • Preliminary engineering of an hydrolysate-to-isobutene plant and overall integration with a straw-to-hydrolysate plant, by TechnipFMC and IPSB (France), and
  • Assessment of the sustainability and environmental benefits by the Energy Institute at the JKU Linz (Austria).

The BBI-JU, a public-private partnership between the European Union and the Bio-Industries Consortium (BIC), is dedicated to realizing the European bio-economy potential, turning biological residues and wastes into greener everyday products through innovative technologies and bio-refineries expected to become the heart of the bio-economy.

The BBI-JU selected this project under the name OPTISOCHEM (N°744330), in the frame of the European HORIZON 2020 programme for research and innovation, following a very selective and competitive process led by independent experts.

Markus Rarbach, Head of Biofuels & Derivatives of Clariant comments: “OPTISOCHEM is demonstrating a key value chain within the bio-economy: advanced bio-refineries based on agricultural residues. From our pre-commercial plant in Straubing (Germany) we have supplied cellulosic sugars in tons scale to Global Bioenergies’ facilities for conversion to bio-isobutene during the first period of the project. We are very pleased with the excellent results from all partners and will continue to provide additional quantities in the next phases so as to prepare for eventual commercial production in the future.”

Frederic Pâques, COO of Global Bioenergies declares: “During this first period, we successfully increased the performances of our micro-organism on traditional substrate such as sucrose and adapted our best microbial chassis to straw hydrolysates. We successfully run our pilot facility in Pomacle (France) and our Demo facility in Leuna (Germany) both with straw hydrolysate and sucrose as a benchmark. We expect to produce several tons of bio-isobutene on this new non-conventional feedstock in the remaining periods of the project”

Jean-François Boideau, EMEA Commercial General Manager at INEOS Oligomers, said: “Our sites have over fifty years of experience in the production of oligomers and polymers of isobutene which are used in lubricants, rubbers, cosmetics, plastics, solvents, and fuels. To date, we received several batches of bio-isobutene from Global Bioenergies for qualification purpose, and the quality is promising. During the next phase of the project, INEOS is ready to evaluate conversion of additional quantities of bio-isobutene into downstream products in order to assess the potential of this bio-based feedstock as a building block for end consumer applications.”

(Article sourced from: www.bio-based.eu/first-production-of-isobutene-from-wheat-straw-at-demo-scale/)

13 Feb 2019

Paper, the forgotten forest destroyer

As the world awakes to the threat posed by palm oil and soy to our forests, it’s in danger of overlooking how paper and packaging drives industrial logging, mis-shapes millions of hectares of forest landscapes and creates monoculture plantations, writes Sini Eräjää.

Sini Eräjää is international coordinator at the Environmental Paper Network (EPN), a world-wide grouping of over 140 civil society organisations.

Awareness of the destruction wrought by deforestation for agricultural commodities such as beef and soy has – thankfully – grown in recent years among policymakers and the public. Responding to mounting pressure, the European Union (EU) has finally promised to put the issue centre-stage, with its proposed action plan on deforestation.

Less well known are the dangers of forest degradation and loss. This is where forest landscapes are changed, even if not deforested entirely.

Global Forest Watch have made the scale and impacts of this loss strikingly tangible, revealing almost 30 million hectares of forests were lost in 2017 (an area about the size of Italy), with a type of destruction that is on the rise.

Earlier analysis indicates that while about 27% of this forest loss is permanent deforestation, most of it is a different kind of forest loss, like shifting cultivation for rural livelihoods that allows the trees to grow back later, or wildfire.

In about a quarter of the cases, loss is caused by logging by mostly northern forest industries which are often turning natural forests into faster growing plantations, clear cutting northern boreal forests, or just turning diverse ecosystems into more manageable rows of trees.

EU studies into the drivers of deforestation claim that the impacts of forest industries, such as paper, are too small to bother with. But these statistics show that forest industries affect an area similar to that of deforestation, with significant impacts on forests’ biodiversity, resilience and carbon storage capacity.

It’s time the EU took a closer look at the industries driving this.

According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), 35-40 per cent of the trees cut for industrial purposes will be turned into paper products. While much of this wood comes from above mentioned “forestry practices”, there’s clear evidence, including from Indonesia, that some of this wood also comes from deforestation.

The paper and pulp industry is not too choosy about the kind of wood fibre they need – it has to be plentiful, cheap and preferably fast-growing. Vast, monotonous plantations of eucalyptus, acacia and other rapidly-growing species are therefore the side-products of our paper consumption (this kind of wood is not of much interest to the sawnwood or veneer industry).

Paper and pulp industry needs have also been central to the development of “sustainable forest management” definitions which emphasise efficient growth and large volumes of wood, rather than diverse forest ecosystems or wood fibre quality. Thinning and clear-cutting suits the industry much better than the selective logging advocated by many European conservation groups.

As the coordinator of Environmental Paper Network International, people often ask me whether paper is worth worrying about as we move towards paper-free books, bills and news.

But the truth is that paper consumption is shifting, not reducing. Per capita paper consumption is slightly declining in the highest using areas such as the USA and Europe, but this decline has been more than compensated by the increase in paper consumption in Asia.

And while newsprint and printing paper consumption is indeed on the decline, this is more than compensated by the growth in wrapping and packaging paper. A striking 55% of global paper consumption is now made of wrapping and packaging, meaning global paper consumption is also on the rise – from 392 million tonnes in 2010 to 410 million tonnes in 2017.

This is bad news for the forests which are facing increasing pressures, and terrible news for the climate. Paper products have a short lifespan – on average half of the products (and the carbon they stored) are gone in just two years – and the other half doesn’t last much longer. To meet the Paris Climate Agreement goals, we need to immediately move from using trees to produce packaging, to protecting and restoring them, cutting them only for long life products.

If we are serious about restoring our forest landscapes – whether for the sake of climate emissions, wildlife or livelihoods – we need go further than just trying to halt deforestation. To restore existing forests degraded by logging as well as degraded lands, we need less plantations and more complex forests that accumulate carbon in old trees and dense vegetation.

And for such a shift to be possible, we need to use less valuable wood fibres for industrial purposes and particularly for throwaway items like tissues, print papers and packaging, and more for products that store the carbon for longer periods.

The challenge to restore the world’s forests should start with our paper consumption choices.

08 Feb 2019

Bio-based webinar unlocking the potential of lignin

Webinar - The new wave in bio-based materials: maximum value from lignin with industry-specific fractions.

26th February 2019
3am PST / 5am EST /11am UK / 12noon CET / 13.00 EET

And available to watch on-demand afterwards. 

The era of affordable sugars, renewable biochemical and bio-based materials from lignocellulosic feedstock are here. Enabling a paradigm shift from petroleum and change over to renewable biomass, the new fractionation technologies of lignin allow the entire biomass to be utilized. Lignocellulosic biomass – a variety of non-edible, woody materials – is the largest renewable reservoir of fermentable carbohydrates, aromatic compounds, and other chemical building blocks. With the new wave of biotechnology, controlled size, solubility, and activity of lignin can be achieved.

As the exact lignin structure depends on biomass used, lignin fractionation process significantly affects the properties of lignin produced. Most of the lignin produced today is treated as a side stream and mostly used as black liquor for energy purposes. Without treatment, lignin is not usable for value-added products. Controlled fragmentation, polymerization, depolymerization, and activation allows the use of lignin in products such as paints, adhesives, artificial fibers, fertilizers, pesticides and naturally, plastics. Industries such as bio-refining, bio-plastics, and wood processing can directly benefit from solutions allowing for controlled size, solubility, activity, glass transition temperature and morphology of lignin material.

Do join us at a webinar on the new wave in bio-based materials!

Key issue to be discussed: 

  • Industry, academia and innovative SMEs – developing a common understanding of the road map to industry relevant fractions of lignin.
  • The future is here: how technical solutions are ready and lignin-based solutions have market pull.
  • Looking at the ground breaking technologies that are  serving the market with affordable industry specific lignin fractions – without which the bio-refinery concepts will never work
  • All of this is possible with a significantly reduced environmental footprint - find out how.

Presenters: 

Matti Heikklia, CTO, MetGen

Katja Salmenkivi, Development Manager, Metsä Fibre Oy, Finland

Dr. Nicole Labbé, Professor of Biomass Chemistry, Center for Renewable Carbon, The University of Tennessee.

To register for the webinar, please visit the website

(Article sourced from: www.biobasedworldnews.com/bio-based-webinar-unlocking-the-potential-of-lignin)

04 Feb 2019

Rehap to attend World Resources Forum 2019

The 2019 World Resources Forum, ‘Closing Loops – Transitions at work’ will be taking place on February 24-27 in Antwerp, Belgium, and Rehap have been invited to speak during one of the interactive deep-dive sessions, on the progress and results of the project towards a better bio-economy.

For 2019, the World Resources Forum is focused on closing resource loops and putting a circular economy in practice in order to help achieve the Agenda 2030 commitments. Thematic ‘Global Sessions’, with inspiring voices from leading experts will set the scene on key topics, as well as networking events and site visits to foster debate and discussion.

Rehap have been invited to speak as part of BBEPP’s session, Taste and feel the bio-economy - An aperitif, an appetizer? Curious about innovative, biobased materials and products entering the market as we speak? We created a circular bio-economy mood board for you! Come to ‘taste and feel’ the transition at work. We present several concrete real-world examples from different sectors, illustrating tasty and creative solutions for a genuine circular bio-economy.

The session will be taking place on the Tuesday of the three-day forum at 15:30 – 17:00 in the Flanders Meeting & Convention Centre. Aitor Barrio, Rehap project coordinator, will be presenting the most recent results of the project, alongside other speakers from various projects looking at issues of the bio-economy.

For more information on World Resources Forum, visit the website.

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