A major goal of the bioeconomy is to use larger quantities of biobased raw materials to produce energy, transport fuels and feedstock for industrial processes. This requires detailed analyses, simulations, concepts and processes. Major focus needs to be placed on issues relating to crop production, biomass potentials, land surface requirements, conversion technologies, biobased value creation networks and food security. Agriculture, forestry, waste management and the industry in general will need to work in concert as far as the raw materials all of them use or deal with are concerned.
Article - 13-Feb-2018
Butyric acid is an important source of fruity aromas. It accumulates as an intermediary product during biogas production, from where it can be siphoned off and used for producing flavours. A new collaborative project aims to explore the technological and bioeconomic potential of extracting butyric acid from biogas plants.
Article - 25-Jan-2018
The Freiburg-based start-up company Ö-Klo leases composting toilets and is committed to the recovery of human urine and faeces. The young Ö-Klo entrepreneurs believe that reviving natural material cycles of soil, plants, food and excreta is crucial in times when natural resources such as phosphorus are dwindling.
Article - 15-Jan-2018
The aim of the joint three-year "PULaCell" project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is to develop biobased reinforcing profiles for solid wood construction materials. As part of the project, several research institutes and industrial companies are developing biobased, cellulose fibre-reinforced polyurethane profiles that will make future wood-based materials stronger.
Article - 14-Dec-2017
A recent study on the disappearance of insects is making headlines: it found that the insect biomass has declined by more than 75% in certain areas in Germany that were monitored by the study over a period of 27 years. The authors believe that the dramatic decline in insect biomass is down to industrial agriculture, which is therefore in conflict with certain bioeconomic principles: the sustainable cultivation of biomass and the safeguarding of food supply.
Article - 04-Dec-2017
Outdoor lovers and athletes love them: water-repellent jackets and trousers. However, many consumers are unaware that the chemicals used to functionalise the textile surface often pollute the environment. Organic fluorine compounds (perfluorocarbons = PFC) are usually added to textiles to make them water-repellent. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB and the Hohenstein Group are researching an environmentally friendly and sustainable method for making textiles water-repellent.
Article - 30-Nov-2017
Funding renewable energies is one of the EU’s key objectives. Biomass such as algae and organic waste are particularly promising because they are not in competition with food production. Scientists at the Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart ferment biomass from wholesale market waste and algae. They use a cascade process to obtain valuable materials and the biogas methane. Their aim is to close material cycles and achieve high efficiency and flexibility for many source materials.
Article - 27-Nov-2017
Coal, petrol and natural gas are our energy sources and the basis for the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. However, the supply of fossil fuels is gradually running out. The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart has turned to microalgae in the search for alternative sources of energy. Initial pilot projects in which a variety of different methods based on state-of-the-art technologies were used have produced a broad range of chemical materials.
Article - 15-Nov-2017
Using the power of microbes: biochemists from Leipzig and Tübingen use the combined power of microbes and electrolysis to produce fuels from organic material. This new process uses electricity from renewable resources to produce diesel from organic waste and green cuttings, amongst other things, and can therefore also be used for storing wind and solar energy.