Home PAPTAC 2018 PWC/BIOFOR Coverage Research to Markets, from Europe to Canada

Research to Markets, from Europe to Canada

Session Chair Marzouk Benali, NRCan/CanmetENERGY welcomed participants to a dynamic session featuring the latest trends in bringing the industry's newest products to market.

In his presentation entitled ''The IEA Perspective for Biorefining in a Growing Bioeconomy,'' Dr. Bert Annevelink of Wageningen University, located in the Netherlands, explained how his team's research led to the identification of new markets, and how the work undertaken by research institutions such as his own, often unfolds in parallel to that of markets.

Dr. Bert Annevelink

Dr. Annevelink's main field of interest is logistics, production planning and scheduling applied to bioenergy and biorefinery value chains. He is theme leader Circular & Biobased Economy and assistant leader International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy Task 42 Biorefinery. IEA Bioenergy Task 42's objective is to explore "the optimal strategy for large-scale sustainable use of biomass resulting in cost-competitive coproduction of food/feed ingredients, biobased products and bioenergy with optimal socio-economic and environmental impacts." Its mission is to enable "the commercialization and market deployment of environmentally sound, socially acceptable, and cost-competitive biorefinery systems and technologies, and to advise policy and industrial decision makers."

In his presentation, Dr. Annevelink elaborated on the role of biorefining in a circular bioeconomy. The "circular economy  is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by design and replaces the 'end-of-life' concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates use of toxic chemicals (which impair reuse), and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems, and, within this, business models," Annevelink explained.

Biorefining in the circular economy is typically related to an energy-based, or to a product-based, biorefinery. In both cases, Dr. Annevelink's research focuses on production for secondary energy carriers from biomass. These include agro and process residues used for production added-value feed or other biobased products. "In this field in particular, further cooperation is needed to continue parallel activities and to keep all actors informed on major achievements in the field," he said. In his concluding remarks, Dr. Annevelink, underlined the importance of the forestry products industry's most pronounced need - improved cooperation between international organizations and industry stakeholders, and a culture that invites the sharing of best practices.

Ed de Jong

Ed de Jong presented the case of the Zambezi Biorefinery which produces "pure" glucose from second generation feedstocks. His Netherlands-based company, Avantium, radically improved the Bergius biorefining process, in order to achieve cost competitiveness and high purity 2G glucose output. His success was enabled in part by the expansion of the glucose market, the growing need for high purity 2G glucose in particular, and surge in interest from energy-related industries for what he referred to as "biomass cascading" (for lignin).

Michelle Gosse

A Memorial University of Newfoundland student, Michelle Gosse, ended the day's BioFor program with a presentation titled: ''Lyocell as the basis for developing a new sustainable bio-product at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited.'' The objective of her work was to achieve a gradual introduction of a new product (lyocell) to allow Corner Brook's biomass cogeneration plant (CBPPL) to either produce lyocell and newsprint simultaneously or phase out newsprint in favour of textile production. As there are no current lyocell production facilities in Newfoundland, an analysis was performed to identify if lyocell production would be innovative enough to diversify CBPPL's range of products and to provide the Humber Valley region with the ability to transition to a new development stage. Gosse identified the opportunities that could stem from such diversification, including the creation of partnerships with pre-existing nonwoven value chains. Gosse reflected on the possibility of an industrial demonstration facility in Corner Brook and how such an endeavour could contribute towards the emerging Canadian bio-economy.

Mathieu Régnier, Journalist,
Paper Advance


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