What is a biobased economy?

What is a biobased economy?

A bioeconomy encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, biobased products and bioenergy. The biobased economy is that part of the bioeconomy that is not related to food/feed production and agriculture, however, it is closely linked with the primary sector.

It offers great opportunities and solutions to a growing number of pressing global challenges such as climate change mitigation, energy and food security and resource efficiency. Green chemistry, green and lean production and the use of non-food raw materials for the production of useful chemicals and energy are increasingly gaining importance in an integrated business strategy. A bioeconomy, if properly implemented and managed, offers a unique opportunity to address these complex and interconnected challenges, while achieving economic growth.

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Feedstock for the biobased economy

Biobased products and -energy can be produced from a variety of biomass feedstocks, including forest, agricultural and livestock residues,  short-rotation forest plantations, energy crops, the organic component of municipal solid waste, and other organic waste streams.

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Various bulk and fine chemicals that are currently produced from fossil fuel based feedstocks, can also be produced out of renewable feedstock. On the other hand, biobased substances can act as building blocks for many other materials provided that they are cost competitive.



Biomaterials are solid materials made of natural products. Examples are bioplastics and biocomposites, a material formed by a matrix (resin) and a reinforcement of natural fibers (usually derived from plants like wood, hemp, flax).



Bioenergy is renewable energy derived from biological sources, and can be used for heat and power or as transportation fuel. Biofuels derived from plant materials are among the most rapidly growing renewable energy technologies.