An autarkic building

Sorry, this review of the sustainable restaurant ‘Aan Zee’ (By the Sea) in Oostvoorne near Rotterdam is only available in Dutch.

Liquefied Bio Gas (LBG) in the polder

Trucks and even airplanes can run on Liquefied Bio Gas. Jan Cees Vogelaar, an innovative farmer in the Dutch province of Flevoland, and founder of HarvestaGG company in Lelystad, has developed a concept for its production. He envisages twenty liquefaction … Read more

No glass wool, but flax wool

Three years ago, I attended a DPI (Dutch Polymer Institute) meeting, on the question to what extent sectors had embraced the biobased economy. Everyone present made much of the achievements in their sectors; just the man from the building sector … Read more

‘Actively waiting’

Sorry, this column on research on the common Dutch citizen’s approach to the biobased economy/society is only available in Dutch. Please mail us (through the contact form) if you are interested, and we will put an English version online.

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

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

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

Gunter Pauli and the ‘Blue Economy’

The interesting thing about festivals like Springtij at Terschelling is, that out of the blue you run into people with a completely new line of thinking. Someone like Gunter Pauli, who invented the ‘Blue Economy’ concept, because the ‘Green Economy’ … Read more

The European Commission’s alcohol problem

The European Commission may renounce its former renewable fuel directive, and plans to lower the required renewable fuel percentage from 10 to 5%. The ethanol industry is furious, and accuses the Commission of an ‘irresponsible U-turn on biofuels policy’. Could … Read more


Seaweed for human consumption. In the Far East, it has been on the menu for ages. In our bioshops it is quite expensive nowadays – but in the Western world, seaweed harvested in the wild, was poor people’s food, and … Read more

Shale gas in Europe

Item in the discussion series on shale gas on this site. The European Parliament Environmental Committee is of the opinion that member states should be prudent in drilling for shale gas, until better data are available about risks. According to … Read more

No chemistry

Sorry, this column about a discussion in The Hague, 17 September, on biobased business opportunities, is only available in Dutch.

Carbon dioxide economy

German Nova-institute released an interesting press release, August 15: ‘The next revolution: CO2 plus renewable energy can serve as a feedstock for fuels, chemicals and plastics’. According to Nova’s CO2 expert Dr. Fabrizio Sibilla, CO2 will produce many environmental gains, … Read more


Just for a second, one forgets Europe and feels a one hundred percent Dutchman on a hot Sunday afternoon. Where? In ‘Futureland’. Again please? Right, nowadays that is the name of the second Maasvlakte, the artificial harbour area in the … Read more

How the West was lost

‘Everyone should read this book’ is a thought which does not come up often. But it did come up with me as I read ‘How the West was lost’ by Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian economist who worked for Goldman Sachs … Read more

PLA to become a major biobased plastic

An estimated production capacity of almost 800.000 tons per year of polylactic acid (PLA) polymer in 2020. That is the outcome of a study by nova-Institute, based in Hurth, Germany. At present the total capacity of 25 companies amounts to … Read more

DSM, a smart player in the biobased economy

There is a big opportunity for the Dutch chemical industry beyond bulk products. A small country, with a strong agro-food sector and specialized technology, should aim to develop knowledge and higher-value products in the biobased economy. One of the first … Read more

An avalanche on wheels

Having been the owner of a little house in the French campagne, visited each year, I had not been in the mountains for some twenty years. But finally we went there. Somewhere in the French Alps, near Morzine, we were … Read more