SMP-18021 Biobased business case in Mozambique: fibres and bioplastics from Miscanthus

Tropical Miscanthus is a highly productive crop. Its biomass production potentential is unsurpassed even by forests. Furthermore it can be put to use for food, fuel and fibre at the same time. Due to local climate conditions the plants will not enter in an annual maturation phase as is the case in the temperate climate zone. Therefor production of Miscanthus in the Tropics can yield a different quality fibers, especially in the leaves. If necessary we wil compare Miscanthus to other local grasses and assess if it is possible to combine fodder with fibre production, using Miscanthus (or another grass). The idea is that the green leaves may provide a high quality dairy cow fodder (either directly or after processing) and the grass stalks may be processed into the fibre product that Vibers requires.   NNRGY is a SME who wants to replace raw materials that damage our environment by bio based substitutes. By cultivating green raw materials locally NNRGY will reduce CO2 and compensate for the massive tree-cutting, mining and plastic waste all over the world. NNRGY and partners have asked Wageningen Research to conduct a feasibility study to assess if it is possible to produce Miscanthus in Mozambique in a sustainable and competitive way in order to expand its business. The aim is to export grass bioplastic compound pellets to the Netherlands as well as produce protein rich animal feed and biobased plastic products in local production facilities such as refineries for the local market.  

Two perspectives will be explored. Wageningen Food and Biobased Research will supply knowledge of the potentials of growing (tropical) grasses in Mozambique; the qualities and volumes of the components of the grasses, the conversion options and the valorization within sustainable biobased value chains Wageningen Environmental Research will identify environmental aspect, such as Co2 capturing and climate benefits by applying LCA frameworks. Wageningen Environmental Research will also identify social aspects, such as cultural differences, legal, political- and policy frameworks, that can hamper production and trade /innovation pathways. The social readiness assessment will also include HRM, regulations and instruments, finance and funding. The policy assessment will also examine if the Vibers products can find a market in Mozambique, which as many developing countries is experiencing pollution problems due to plastic waste in the environment.