Bio-resources such as straw, bark, forest residues and sunflower husks could hold the key to a more environmentally-friendly future for Europe’s process industry. If they can be successfully utilised, these sustainable resources could directly replace the fossil-based materials currently used.

Bio4Products will demonstrate how these four bio-resources can be exploited, creating renewable and natural alternatives to fossil-based processing streams such as bitumen, phenols and creosote. The project will also demonstrate the integration of these sustainable resources into four end products: phenolic resins, insulation foams, sand moulding resins, and modified wood.

The overall objective is to create four products for which at least 30% of the original fossil-based stream is substituted with sustainable resources, and which deliver a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Validating the process

A state-of-the-art technique called fast pyrolysis will be employed, which transforms solid biomass into a flexible bio-oil in a matter of seconds. A fractionation demo-plant will be constructed to separate the oil into lignin and sugar fractions, bio-based intermediates which can be integrated into existing production processes.

Evaluating its impact

As well as an environmental impact assessment, the project will conduct a detailed economic and market study to develop a strong business case for the four end products, and the overall value chain. With considerable potential to include its sustainable resources in other product ranges, Bio4Products can help lay the foundations for a more innovative and sustainable process industry in Europe.