Biorefinery concepts

The developing biobased economy and growing world population (with its accompanying rise in food and protein requirements) result in increasing claims on the available biomass. The use of smart biorefinery concepts in the biobased economy can allow the production of materials and chemicals from biomass next to food and feed. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has decades of experience on the research and development of successful biorefinery concepts.

Efficient use of biomass

Different biorefinery concepts can be applied depending on the type of biomass, availability and intended application. This allows all the available components of biomass to be used in the best possible way. Biorefinery concepts involve utilising biomass to the fullest extent, but also using specific technologies to isolate components, preventing waste, logistics aspects as well as value chain aspects. Examples of interesting biorefinery concepts that Wageningen Food & Biobased Research works on are green biorefinery (valorisation of grass), small-scale biorefinery (valorisation of regional side streams at small scale) and algal biorefinery (valorisation of algae). In addition to biomass utilisation, use inputs from the agricultural system, such as water, energy and minerals, are considered.

Cascading and market value

A biobased economy aims to deploy biomass with as much added value as possible, and for the most appropriate application. This principle is called cascading. Various components in biomass can be isolated using biorefining technologies, such as pretreatment, fractionation and separation techniques. These various components are assigned their own possible applications depending on their market value. In this way cascading and biorefinery concepts allow us to increase the economic value of biomass.

Sustainable biomass chains

The development of new, high-quality biomass value chains requires more than just biorefinery concepts. Insight in the entire value chain, from production, transport and logistics to final product, is also important. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research and Wageningen University & Research is unique in this field thanks to available insights and knowledge of the entire biomass value chain. This allows us to help you oversee the whole process from biomass to biorefinery and end products.