The biobased society, a better world?

Will the advent of the biobased society lead to a better world? One the face of it, one would affirm this idea: back to nature, or something like that. Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Physiocrats, but at a higher technological level; … Read more

Algae: continued high expectations

Biofuel, fodder, chemical platform chemicals, and high-value specialties production. From algae which grow up to ten times faster than plants in the soil. It has the appearance of the biobased economy itself: major projects, a lot of research, test sites … Read more

Stressed LED algae produce more oil

Arnoud van Diem, an entrepreneur, and CEO of AF&F (Algae Food & Fuel) and of Biosoil, grows algae at the ACRRES site in Lelystad, the Netherlands. He uses both sunlight and LED lamps emitting light of precisely the correct wavelength … Read more

First European GM algae project

Although the official European Commission policy still rejects GMO products for food (green biotech), there seems to be a policy change in the approach to industrial biotechnology (white biotech). In particular concerning use of genetically modified ‘work horses’, i.e. genetically … Read more

Biobased economy in the polder

Herman Vermeer is a farmer in the Flevo polder. He grows stew (potatoes, onions, carrots), wheat, rutabaga and tulips on 70 hectares; and he is a partner in a wind collective, with his neighbours. Among them they own 10 MegaWatts, … Read more

True Price: Roefie Hueting was right

It strikes me that so many aging, i.e. retired people, attend sustainability conferences. Youngsters are present but mainly on behalf of their employers. Elderly people have been engaged in other sectors and now concentrate on sustainability issues. Quite enthusiastically. And … Read more

Oxfam still much too harsh

I had looked forward intently to the report that Oxfam in the Netherlands (Oxfam Novib) would publish on 26 November, which would justify its campaign against European biofuel policies. They said, this would ‘conclude clearly’ that the economic and political … Read more

Plastic soup for dummies

‘By now, everyone knows about the phenomenon of Plastic Soup.’ So I am told ever more frequently nowadays. Yet, there are still a lot of people out there who have not  heard of it. And even they often do not … Read more

Danish Novozymes and Italian Beta Renewables join forces in cellulosic biofuel projects

In Denmark and Italy, Novozymes, the world’s largest producer of industrial enzymes, and Beta Renewables, a global leader in cellulosic biofuels and part of Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi, announced an agreement to jointly market, demonstrate and guarantee cellulosic biofuel solutions. … Read more

Petrol from water and air, sense and nonsense

Recently, newspapers and TV abound with reports on scientists who produce fuels like petrol and diesel oil from carbon dioxide and water. Sometimes with sensational headings like in The Independent, 19 October: ‘Exclusive: Pioneering scientists turn fresh air into petrol … Read more

Biofuels without agro

They were awarded many prizes for their innovative technology. New Zealand’s LanzaTech owns an entire fleet of bacteria, fit to process industrial waste gases and waste products directly into biofuels and chemical building blocks. Sean Simpson, the company’s CSO, highlights … Read more

Against the plastic soup

‘Look, this is the picture which made me decide to do something about it,’ says Peter Smith, a photographer living in Amsterdam. ‘Which river do you think this is?’ ‘The Maas.’ The picture was taken by Peter Driessen in the … Read more


Our world is founded on growth. As soon as economic growth slows down, alarm bells start to ring: pensions are in danger, or employment rates. Even the richest economies in the world, like ours, stay on the course of growth, … Read more

Europe hesitates and lags behind

‘You always want to employ the perfect technology right away’, the Americans mirrored us, Europeans, at the occasion of last week’s EFIB final debate, in Düsseldorf. Where EFIB is the acronym for: European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Biobased … Read more

The entire potato

‘We should again valorise the entire potato.’ In one sentence, AVEBE’s ambition in the biobased economy. In order to realize this goal, the corporation has many ideas for opportunities in research. ‘More than we can finance. We will have to … Read more