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BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes

BIOFOREVER, which stands for BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes, is a collaborative project involving 14 European companies to demonstrate the feasibility of converting woody biomass into chemical building blocks and high added value products. The project began in September 2016 and will run until August 2019, and is a great example of DSM’s endeavours to enable a low carbon and circular economy.
BIOFOREVER (BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes)

Building a low-carbon future

Today, most chemical building blocks and materials are still produced from fossil resources, which pose a range of challenges from environmental to economic and security of supply. Switching to a bio-based feedstock model would protect against supply dependency and generate a lower carbon footprint, create more sustainable production systems, and strengthen the competitive position of the bio-based chemicals industry. Specifically, this switch could cut up to 85% of CO2 emissions compared to fossil-based value chains.

Participation in this consortium is of strategic importance for DSM,” says Adriana Contin, Senior Scientist at DSM Food Specialties. “Lignocellulose-based value chains are likely to form part of the circular economy of the future, and this is a unique opportunity for DSM to evaluate the externally available pretreatment technologies to come to acceptable specifications and costs of cellulosic sugars that could be applied in our fermentative production processes. Integrating our processes in a biorefinery concept is essential for economical processes based on cellulosic sugars. For DSM in particular, promising results have been obtained with the production of our cellulytic enzyme cocktail based on woody sugars.”

Stronger innovation together

The challenge of building and demonstrating the viability of converting woody biomass demands a wide range of expertise, facilities, and experience. Because of this, DSM works closely on BIOFOREVER with 13 partners: API Europe (Greece), Avantium Chemicals BV (the Netherlands), Bioprocess Pilot Facility BV (the Netherlands), Borregaard AS (Norway), BRD BV (the Netherlands), Elkem Carbon AS (Norway), Green Biologics Ltd (UK), MetGen Oy (Finland), Nova Institute GmbH (Germany), Novasep Process SAS (France), Phytowelt GmbH (Germany), Green Biologics Ltd (UK), Port of Rotterdam NV (the Netherlands), and SUEZ Groupe SAS (France).

Boost to regional employment

The expected impact of BIOFOREVER extends beyond the environmental advantages. Across the sector, the number of jobs of a future commercial scale biorefinery is expected to be 1,200, which could generate a further 6,000 to 7,500 indirect jobs in the European region where the biorefinery will be located, especially in the agricultural and forestry sector.