Introduction biobased economy and biobased society
Insecurity seems to pervade our world. World economy is at risk. Society will have to embark on a new course. Technology and agriculture should become the focal points of a new and sustainable economy, leading to a completely new design of our economy and our society….
Chemical feedstock grows on the land
History never evolves in a straight line. Between the 19th century and the present is a century which increasingly produced energy and materials from quite another resource: crude oil, and partly from natural gas and coal, too….
Just fifty years ago, chemical industry consisted of large, mysterious and secluded complexes which processed dangerous and toxic substances at high temperatures and pressures….
An on-going debate
Nevertheless, many people still hold a sceptical view of the biobased economy. The main problem is production of biobased resources. How interesting, our sceptical citizen would say, such an industry which would respect nature. But how about resources….
The biobased society
The biobased society is both inspiring and problematic, inasmuch as it touches many economic, social and political areas. It is about scientific research and tropical rainforest conservation, about the future of big companies and a better income to the farmer (in Europe and in the Third World), about new global trade patterns and better sustainability criteria, about new waste legislation and new quality criteria for sowing seed….
In the initial phase of a transition, the time is ripe for direct and bold initiatives. Developments surge into all directions, some pathways turn out to be dead alleys and others turn out to be unexpectedly successful. Everyone mingles into the matter….
In the past few decades, many developments in Europe have been propelled by CO2 legislation. Major investments have been made for factories which process biomass into bioethanol and biodiesel….