The Bio4Products aims to unlock the potential of biomass to create a range of more sustainable products. They have organised a series of webinars for the coming months which Rehap will be playing an active role in – our very own Lars Wietschel of the University of Augsburg will be taking part in the first of the series on 26th September.
We caught up with James Ling from Bio4Products to hear more about the upcoming webinar series and what the Bio4Products project is about.
What is the Bio4Products project?
Bio4Products is a collaborative project which aims to unlock the potential of biomass to create a range of more sustainable products.
One part of the project is dedicated to biomass conversion. Our coordinator BTG Biomass Technology Group has built a world first thermo-chemical fractionation plant, which transforms all sorts of lignocellulosic biomass into intermediate materials (lignin and sugar).
Then we have three industrial companies in the consortium who have integrated these materials into their production processes. End products being developed include insulation foams, moulding compounds, and modified wood.
How does the project relate to Rehap?
Both projects have very similar aims – to strengthen the European bioeconomy and reduce our reliance on fossil raw materials. Besides that they also have some technical similarities.
While both projects use straw and bark as raw materials, the end projects are quite different – it just goes to show the flexibility and amazing potential of the bioeconomy.
Both projects have been funded within the SPIRE public private partnership so have application in the process industries.
What are the challenges of finding the right biomass feedstock strategy?
Obviously when biomass is the main raw material for your business, securing a reliable supply is absolutely essential. As the bioeconomy should focus on sustainability you also want to find feedstock locally to reduce transport. Then you have lots of other factors to consider: quality, suitability, price… As the bioeconomy continues to expand competition for biomass will heat up and having a bulletproof feedstock strategy will become ever more important.
Tell us about the webinar series you have planned.
The main aim of the series is to share knowledge from the project and engage in a dialogue with other people working in the bioeconomy. We will investigate the entire value chain – hence the name of the series ‘From biomass to bio-based products’ – and have expert presentations from research and industry representatives on a range of topics.
The first webinar on 26 September will focus on biomass feedstock strategies, something that has been studied extensively in the Bio4Products project by Capax Biobased Development. We will also hear from the University of Augsburg, who have researched the topic within Rehap.
Subsequent webinars will focus on: Developing a pyrolysis-based biorefinery (November), Making products out of lignin and sugars (January), and Ensuring sustainability (March).
Interested participants can register for the first webinar via this link.