The biobased industry should be able to replace petrol-based industry in the upcoming years. Therefore, a set of different steps are necessary, which start with apropriate legislation, go through logistics and also need technological progress. One important puzzle stone in this context is the development of biorefineries, which need to cope with multiple biomass feedstocks.
A biorefinery is a system of processes in intensive fractionation of photosynthesis- and biomass products or agricultural waste materials to transform into a spectrum of bio-based products or isolated from these. Basic products and basic chemicals are usually carbohydrates, lignin, proteins and fats.
The development of biorefineries is the key for integrated production of food and feed, chemicals, materials and consumer goods, as well as fuels in the medium-term future.
Conventional biorefinery concepts, following the model of the oil refinery, assume that high molecular weight components can be synthesized in new ” platform chemicals ” after decomposition. The integrated biorefinery takes advantage of various components in biomass and their intermediates, therefore maximising the value derived from the biomass feedstock. We even go one step further and speak of an interconnected integrated biorefinery:
After a successful implementation one cannot only speak about improving product properties but also production costs will be reduced. The total added value generated exceeds economically and ecologically the conventional value. Based on multifunctional use on the same plot the resource requirements can be minimised.