Biorefinery

Biorefining is the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable biobased products for food, feed, chemicals, materials and bioenergy.

Biorefinery value chains combine biomass cultivation with different biomass processing steps; such as storage, pretreatment, disruption of biomass, extraction, separation of biomass components and finally, conversion of intermediates into marketable products and energy.

We prefer to focus on developing refinery concepts that keep the integrity and architecture of the molecules containing in the biomass intact as much as possible, in order to maintain maximum functionality and value.

Different research groups within Wageningen University & Research have the knowledge and technologies needed to develop biorefinery concepts. 

IPOP Biorefinery's mission is to connect the people from different expertise groups and to stimulate them to develop biorefinery concepts which not only cover technological developments, but also the environmental and social aspects of biobased production.

The programme focusses on three types of biomass:

The programme focusses on three aspects of technology:

  1. Developing sustainable whole chain production concepts. These include the development of improved biorefinery crops, and also processes for the conversion of plant raw materials into high performance materials and products.
  2. Emphasising high value molecules, which are needed in bulk. These include protein (for food, feed and chemicals) and building blocks for chemicals or high-performance materials. Examples of building blocks are terpenes, furans, 1,3 butanediol and carboxylic acids.
  3. Developing refinery technologies that allow mild disclosure, efficient isolation and fractionation biomass components. Furthermore, the programme focusses on the development of decentralized (mobile) biorefinery processes, which makes it possible to minimize costs for logistics and to maximize nutrient re-use.