Why Europe undermines its own policies on second-generation biofuels, whereas the US moves fast forward

Europe’s biofuel policy has been reformulated earlier this year, in order to promote the development of second-generation biofuels. But this seems to have little effect: whereas second-generation biofuels from food wastes are indeed being produced in Europe, there is just … Read more

The Bioprocess Pilot Facility in Delft

New prospects in industrial biotechnology (processes, new products) developed in the lab will have to be tested at a relevant scale before they can be taken into commercial production. A test facility that imitates the production process at a semi-technical … Read more

AVEBE looks for innovators

Entering the hall of the Dutch potato cooperative AVEBE, one’s attention is immediately drawn to a large pane of stained glass, showing all products once produced from the potato, one hundred years ago. Building and pane belonged to ScholtenHonig, later … Read more

Seaweed is becoming big business

Seaweed is on its way to become a serious hype, and a sustainable one. At the second international seaweed conference Seagriculture, in Den Helder and at the Wadden isle of Texel, the long red, green and brown strings even became … Read more

EFIB, now is the time!

Whereas last year, EFIB was still under the aegis of high hopes on this new phenomenon, the biobased economy, this year in Brussels the main sentiment was ‘this is the time for Europe, otherwise others will take the lead’. There … Read more

Towards a greener orange

At the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology (EFIB) this week, the stall of the Biorenewables Development Centre served freshly pressed orange juice. At the front of the stall, a large bin with orange peel attracted the attention of the visitor. … Read more

Correct decision, wrong arguments

The European Parliament has decided. The share of biofuels in the fuel mix will be reduced from 10 to 6% in 2020. Is that disastrous or beneficial, on the contrary? And why? According to European figures, biofuels would contribute a … Read more

A perverse effect of subsidies

Subsidies play a difficult but unavoidable part in the stimulation of new technologies. With subsidies, new and superior technologies can compete with incumbent technologies. Subsidies protect them temporarily from the chilly force of the market. But subsidies, so it appears, … Read more

Flax fibre instead of glass fibre

Synthetic and glass fibres have never completely substituted natural fibres. On the contrary, there is a growing interest for application of natural fibres in composite materials – biobased or not, biodegradable or not – and as an insulating construction material. … Read more

Phosphorus recovery, an urgent matter

Phosphorus is an essential element in the formation of vegetal and animal biomass. But whereas living organisms can use oxygen and nitrogen from the air for their processes, phosphorus is only available as a mineral, in the form of phosphate. … Read more