Biobased Value Chains

Using biobased resources as feedstock to develop and produce biobased chemical products. That’s the essence of the Biobased Value Chains (BVC) innovation program. More information about this program.

Projects

This alphabetical list includes both completed and ongoing projects.


Biobased Value Chains – Program Details

What?

Within this innovation program, all types of biobased resources can be used, including primary biomass coming from agriculture or forestry like sugar beets, plant-based oils and wood, new biomass sources like insects or algae, and secondary biomass like organic waste and agricultural or industrial by-products.

For the conversion of such biobased resources to chemical products, different technologies can be used such as chemical catalysis, enzymatic catalysis and fermentation as the more established processes to convert biobased resources. These conversion technologies are used in combination with upstream and downstream technologies like extraction, separation and/or polymerisation.

Biobased chemicals can be platform molecules that have the potential to become the core of new biobased value chains, but also specialty chemicals that are developed from an application perspective. While developing biobased chemicals, we focus on the functionality they can bring in their application. We do not specifically focus on biodegradability, although this can be a beneficial functionality for some products in some applications.

Why?

The two most important drivers for the development of biobased value chains are the potential for feedstock diversification and for new functionalities when designing biobased products. As the structure and composition of biobased resources is completely different from that of fossil resources, the use of biomass brings a whole palette of possibilities to develop new building blocks and new functionalities. This also brings the opportunity to acquire interesting intellectual property positions.

In addition, the use of biobased resources as feedstock for chemical products has the potential to reduce the overall environmental impact of chemical value chains. When comparing CO2 emissions over the life cycle of biobased products with their fossil-based counterparts, biobased products have the advantage of a negative contribution in the growth phase of the biomass, as the carbon was captured through photosynthesis in the biomass. Also, specific processes used to convert biomass like enzymatic catalysis and fermentation have the potential to significantly reduce the CO2 emissions of the production process.

Goals

A number of ‘new’ biobased value chains will be developed each year, from feedstock over conversion process up to product in the market. A ‘new’ value chain is based on an innovation in at least one of the three phases of a biobased value chain, while safeguarding the valorisation potential of the whole value chain. By doing so, we want to prove that biobased chemicals can indeed:
  • contribute to decreasing the chemical industry’s dependency of on fossil resources
  • deliver new functionalities in existing or new applications
  • connect non-traditional players
  • help to decrease the overall environmental impact of chemical value chains
  • help our member companies to acquire interesting IP positions

    Topics

    Focus topics within this innovation programm include lignocellulose, sugars, oils & fats, biomass side streams, chemical catalysis, enzymatic catalysis, fermentation, and biobased end-products.

    Context

    This innovation programm is linked to Circularity and Resource Efficiency (through biomass side streams), Process Intensification and Transformation (through technologies for biomass conversion like chemical and enzymatic catalysis as well as fermentation), and Advanced Sustainable Products (through the development of new biobased products like surfactants and lubricants). There is also a strong link with the first Moonshot Research Trajectory MOT1 Biobased Chemistry. Follow-up trajectories of successful MOT1 projects can fit in this program.

    Active companies

    Companies active in projects within the BVC innovation program include, but are not limited to: 3M, Ajinomoto BioPharma Services, AVEVE, B4Plastics, Beaulieu, Boss Paints, Calidris Bio, Cargill, ChemStream, Circular Organics, Citrique Belge, Cobalin, Devan, Eastman, Eco Treasures, Ecover, Genano, Globachem, Gova, Govi, Group Depre, I-Coats, INEOS, InOpSys, Kingspan, Lawter, Nutrition Sciences, Oleon, Proviron, Purazur, Recticel, Rendac, Sappi, Soudal, SPAAS, Suez, Sumitomo Bakelite, Tectero, and Transfurans Chemicals.

    Discover the other innovation programs and dive into our focus topics by checking out our full Innovation Agenda.