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
DSD BV (Dutch Sustainable Development BV) has made available online information about its Betaprocess, in Dutch, English, German and French. Betaprocess operates on the basis of vacuum extrusion, which rips apart biomass in a split second to a macromolecular level … Read more
‘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
‘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
Sorry, this news item on Dutch politics is only available in Dutch.
Sorry, this column on Dutch innovation policy is only available in Dutch.
There will be more local self-supply or even autarky in the new world, for instance in energy systems. But whereas in the past, autarky equalled shortage and even poverty, in the future this will equal a high level of knowledge … Read more
‘Even in 2011 we could not imagine the magnitude of the impact of shale gas on energy supply and chemical industry. Shale gas recovery, and fracking as a technology, have grown big in the US, causing the gas price to … Read more
Summing up, we arrive at our vision. New social patterns will be sustained by the development of new technologies, that will primarily promote local and regional economic growth. Sustainability is on its way to become a recognised corporate goal, because … Read more
It was a historic site, in café Landtmann in Vienna, where the European Liberal Forum had organized our debate on the green economy. Historic, not merely because the café exists from 1873 onwards, and because a large number of famous … Read more
The bioeconomy is regional in nature, and now Europe has discovered that, too. At a ‘hearing’ in Brussels it became apparent that the new wealth will be rural in nature, and will be created locally. The region will take preference … Read more
Carbon dioxide is the final product of the carbon cycle, either by biological processes or by incineration. It disappears into the atmosphere or is taken up in a new photosynthetic cycle. Its main economic uses are in oil recovery, beverages … Read more
Carbon dioxide is not a waste material but a feedstock. That was the idea behind the German nova-Institut’s conference, one of the first CO2-conferences to be held in Europe. And surprisingly: the entire chemical network buzzes with enthusiasm. Just a … Read more
‘Chinese concentrate in their research on four important areas: CO2-economy (of which artificial photosynthesis is a part), solar energy (PV), methanol, and artificial meat (proteins).’ According to Michael Carus, director, and Frabizio Sibilla, researcher at nova-Institut, at an Essen conference … Read more
Sorry, this blog on Dutch innovation policy is only available in Dutch.
Will shale gas – soon to be in abundant supply – become a threat to the green chemical industry? Jos Keurentjes (AkzoNobel) judges it too early to make a verdict. (This is the fourth article in our series on shale … Read more
Energy systems will revolutionise even more radically than industry. The price of solar cells has taken a dive. They are modular in makeup, i.e. they can be applied both on a small and a large scale. Everyone can mount them … Read more
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
This October, EuropaBio’s European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Biobased Economy (EFIB) brings together a panel of multinational CEOs to discuss the evolution of a world leading EU bioeconomy. The bioeconomy concept has never been higher on the EU … Read more
Sorry, this blog on a sustainability festival on the Dutch island of Terschelling is only available in Dutch.
The biobased industry is going to alleviate the CO2 problem and create rural employment and development. Says Lars Hansen, President Region Europe of Novozymes, one of the main European companies in the development of the biobased economy. But Europe should … Read more
Novozymes envisages new biorefineries which can process any biobased feedstock into any desired product in a sustainable way. They will be able to process straw, municipal waste, pig farm or dairy waste etc. As outputs, they see ethanol, food, feed, … Read more
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
The environmental movement of the seventies, precursor to the present movement for sustainability, was largely anti-technological. Technology seemed to be inherently large-scale; it produced nuclear power stations and polluting chemical complexes. But technology has taken a turn into the opposite … Read more
The Austrian healthcare Biotech SME ProtAffin AG and the French Global Bioenergies are the joint winners of the Most Innovative Biotech SME Award 2012. EuropaBio names three other outstanding runners up: Green Biologics Ltd, from the UK, Promethera BioSciences from … Read more
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
Upon hearing the word bonobo, many (in particular intellectual males) exclaim: sex!, and they beam all over. Yes, it is true: sex is important in the life of the bonobo, much more so than in that of our other nearest … Read more
Sorry, this column about a discussion in The Hague, 17 September, on biobased business opportunities, is only available in Dutch.
China’s 11th Five-Year Plan contains plans for development of the next generation of biomedical material applications, as the nation seeks to meet the growing demands of an aging population. Its declared goal, according to a Lux Research report China’s Expanding … Read more
We barely published an article intended to open up a discussion on the effect of cheap shale gas on the biobased economy ( September 2012), when Amory Lovins and Jon Creyts of the Rocky Mountain Institute published a column ‘Hot … Read more
In a column on this site, dated 21 August, Lucas Reijnders is of the opinion that presently available bioplastics are more environmentally harmful than the most common fossil-based plastics. He refers to the ‘Pittsburgh Study’, a heavily criticized source with … Read more
Schuttelaar and Partners organise a political café in Nieuwspoort, The Hague, in the afternoon of 17 September. The theme is: ‘Biomass, boundlessly sustainable’. For details, we refer to the Dutch text.
Sustainability has been a topic for some time: for forty years (counting from the ‘Limits to Growth’ report), or even for fifty years (counting from Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’). During those years, it has moved from the periphery to the … Read more
Until quite recently, a few developments seemed to be clear, at least to the editors of this website. The economy would become more sustainable by finding alternatives for oil (over the peak), natural gas (source of international conflict), and coal … Read more
‘It is easier said than done, in discussions on the biobased economy, to return the minerals to the land. The question often overlooked is, whether the farmer needs them at that specific moment. That is the question we address in … Read more
Sorry, this blog on sustainability in the Dutch elections is only available in Dutch.
Forty years ago I met Leo for the first time, and our paths kept crossing agreeably often. In the early seventies, Leo soon joined the Reflection Group on Energy Policy, founded by others and myself, as an MP for the … Read more
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
In Europe we witness intensive social participation, coupled to increased self-confidence. People often decide to leave government and political parties aside. They seek and find each other in loose alliances, not heavily structured, in order to vent one’s indignation of … 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
Mark Bünger, author of the recent Lux Research report on biochemicals and biomaterials (see the article on this site), holds the opinion that the viability of a green chemical industry is dependent upon many factors, which renders general judgements rather … Read more
There still are many obstacles on the road to a fully commercial green chemicals industry. That is the upshot of a study by Boston based Lux Research, ‘Pruning the Cost of Bio-Based Materials and Chemicals’ (also see the interview with … Read more
On August 17, 2012, BASF, Cargill and Novozymes signed an agreement to develop technologies to produce acrylic acid from renewable raw materials. Presently, acrylic acid is produced by the oxidation of propylene derived from the refining of crude oil. Novozymes … Read more
A recent report by the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (discussed here on the 10th of august by Diederik van der Hoeven) argues in favour of selective energetic usage of biomass. That is good advice. Photosynthesis is beautiful but its … Read more
‘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
In recent years, males with megalomaniac ambitions have formed absurd conglomerates which require likewise absurd controls for their management. The tops of fantasy organisations that collapsed, carrying names thought up by advertising agencies (in the Netherlands InHolland, Amarantis and Vestia), … Read more
The recent report ‘Bioenergy, chances and limits’, by the German Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences, is the newest in a growing list of critical reports on bioenergy. On a macro level, the report prefers solar and wind energy to biomass … Read more
Early July, Cargill supplied the first sustainably produced rapeseed oil to Unilever. The shipment covers about 5% of Unilever’s annual demand for rapeseed oil. Within 3 years, Cargill will be able to supply to Unilever its entire European demand for … Read more
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