Technological constraints, feasibility and availability

Improving the competitiveness of new biobased production processes and the way in which governments and industry can encourage a more widespread and sustainable use of biomass are key themes in the biobased economy. Understanding the technological constraints are often crucial to these developments.

Studying biomass value chains

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research studies new biomass value chains and the related technological preconditions. To achieve this, we deploy knowledge of biomass availability and logistics, and provide insight into the status of various biomass conversion technologies. An example of a value chain studied is the conversion of lignocellulose into fermentable sugars for the production of chemicals and biopolymers. Our research is based on insights into the state-of-the-art biorefinery technology, information from companies, up-to-date market knowledge and desktop research into new biomass value chains.

Frameworks for policy

The results of our studies can, among other things, be used as frameworks for policy development related to economic incentives. Examples include the double counting regulations for biofuels and the stimulation of coproduction of biofuels and chemicals. We can also make an early assessment of the techno-economic feasibility of various biomass value chains before they are implemented in the market. This knowledge can, for example, be used to determine market opportunities for the valorisation of biomass types which have rarely been used in the biobased economy (e.g. roadside grass and other side streams).