From residual product to added value

Public authorities and the business community want to drastically reduce their dependence on fossil oil and natural gas, in part due to political unrest, emerging new economies and price fluctuations. Bioenergy is an important way of achieving this.

This bioenergy is extracted from biomass, which is specially produced or which forms as a residual product from agricultural commodities. These residual flows arise in various forms and have many non-food and food applications, for example in the food, chemicals and energy industries. Residual flows are often regarded as waste. This means that being allowed and able to make useful products from residual flows originating in the food and agricultural industry, such as biomass, entails lengthy procedures and additional costs.

Aim: minimise production waste

Wageningen Economic Research is convinced that residual products formed during the production of premium agricultural products can be used in segments with lower added value. The aim, from a sustainability perspective, is to minimise any production waste and make the best possible use of raw materials. The greatest added value is considered first. This concept enjoys the support of all stakeholders.

Support bio-based projects with residual flows

Wageningen Economic Research aims to support the business community, public authorities and social organisations in undertaking bio-based projects with residual flows. This includes carrying out analyses of laws, regulations and licensing procedures and the development of updated business and chain-based models aimed at the sustainable use of residual flows designed to enable enterprises to obtain a better return from biobased initiatives without additional subsidies.

In addition we investigate how industry can gain better access to agricultural commodities, not only as an energy source but also as a bio-building block for the chemicals industry. Our research is primarily focused on investigating the precise situation concerning the agricultural commodities market, import levies on bioethanol and other agricultural commodities, financial advantages and disadvantages and current policy.