This week is Green Week – the EU’s biggest annual event on environment policy – which focuses this year on ‘Green Jobs for a Greener Future’.
The bioeconomy already employs about 10% of the EU workforce, in sectors like agriculture and forestry, as well as some areas of the chemical, energy and biotechnology industries.
130,000 new jobs
An important source of new green jobs will be the innovative bioeconomy, where advancements in bioeconomy research and innovation will allow Europe to open up new and diversified markets in food and bio-based products.
It is estimated that bioeconomy research funded under Horizon 2020 could generate about 130,000 jobs and € 45 billion in added value by 2025.
Rural development potential
Bio4Products plans to contribute to this. The project is demonstrating a process based on fast pyrolysis and pyrolysis oil fractionation which converts residual biomass like straw and bark into green alternatives for materials like fossil-bitumen, -phenols and creosote.
The decentralised processing of biomass in such a fast pyrolysis plant has quite some potential to stimulate growth and jobs, particularly in rural areas. Rather than importing these products from around the world they could be produced within the EU, using local, renewable raw materials.
Each commercial pyrolysis plant would generate a wide range of jobs, for example in construction, biomass collection, transport and processing. This would include low, medium and highly skilled positions.
The potential exists for these plants to operate across the EU and beyond. Successful demonstration of the whole process during the Bio4Products project is the first step to the roll out of the production of pyrolysis oil based raw-materials and products at a commercial scale.
Learn more about the objectives of the Bio4Products project in this new video.