Oil spills from drilling platforms and tankers cause environmental pollution and a loss of biodiversity. Researchers at the University of Stuttgart, among others, are now using biosurfactants to improve the management of oil spills: their latest research shows that biosurfactants lead to better microbiological degradation of oil components in seawater compared to conventional dispersants.
Materials and chemicals
Biomass can be used to produce chemicals, fibres, pigments and plastics. These products are either identical to their petroleum-based counterparts or have completely new properties. Biorefineries will play a key role in the transition to a bioeconomy. There is great expectation placed on the potential ability to convert the countless carbon compounds in biomass into chemicals and material components.