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Processes and technologies in the bioeconomy

The state of Baden-Württemberg is characterised by strong economic expertise in the field of plant and mechanical engineering as well as excellent research institutions in the fields of biology, biotechnology, bioprocess engineering and chemistry. These form an excellent basis for a sustainable economy by promoting technology development and innovation for tomorrow’s bioeconomy.

The creation of a biobased economy requires process innovations that enable the efficient utilisation of raw and residual materials. Process innovations in the bioeconomic sense include processes and technologies that use biogenic raw and residual materials as the starting substrate, as well as biobased processes that exploit the metabolic activities of living organisms such as microorganisms, bacteria or algae. In both cases, the goal must be to develop sustainable, flexible and cost-effective processes that can be scaled up quickly to industrial scale.

A huge variety of methods and processes is used in the bioeconomic area. The overall aim is to achieve a coupled and cascading use of biogenic raw material resources and residual materials. The main focus is on simple and combined chemical, physical and biotechnological/-catalytic conversion technologies.

The biorefinery concept is an intelligent and promising solution for replacing oil with biomass as a raw material to produce fuels, power, heat and chemicals. Biorefineries integrate different biomass conversion processes and technologies. The biorefinery approach is based on a holistic utilisation of biomass for producing value-added (intermediate) products. Thus, biorefineries aim for zero-waste biomass utilisation by applying efficient technologies to convert biomass into energy and products.

However, a biorefinery does not necessarily need to combine all process steps in one plant. Depending on the location, even small, modular plants can be the right choice for creating value with biomass. It is important that biomass digestion and conversion processes are resource-tolerant and flexible to take account of different biomass compositions and quantities of waste and thus process different material flows in one process step.

As the situation stands, new and improved technologies and processes are mainly being implemented in pilot and demonstration plants. Further efforts are needed to transfer applications to an industrial scale.

Processes and technologies in the bioeconomy

  • Expert interview - 03/03/2021

    The 'Healthcare Movers 2020 - Baden-Württemberg Report' reveals the potentials and challenges Baden-Württemberg healthcare companies encounter as the digital transformation of the healthcare market progresses. In an interview with Dr. Ariane Pott from BIOPRO, the authors of the report, Beatus Hofrichter and Dr. Ursula Kramer, explain what is required to take the major step towards becoming a digital avant-garde company.

  • Article - 17/02/2021

    Sepsis is a life-threatening disease that can be treated all the more successfully the faster therapy is initiated. It is not just the infection itself that is so dangerous, but a dysregulated response of the immune system. Physicians at Ulm University Hospital have now developed an animal-free test system that can be used to research the disease and develop innovative diagnostic tools to quickly assess a patient's sepsis risk and optimise…

  • From field to socket - 03/02/2021

    Biogas plants that produce non-fossil fuels are very much in vogue at the moment. In the Swabian hamlet of Hahnennest, four family farms have joined forces to form an energy park and operate a local biogas plant, covering everything from substrate production to the sale of energy.

Website address: https://www.biooekonomie-bw.de/en/bw/definition/processes-and-technologies-in-the-bioeconomy