On January 24th, the first course of the new MicroMasters Biobased Sciences for Sustainability will start. ‘MicroMasters’ is a brand-new credential that was launched by edX and 15 of the world’s leading universities. Learn more about this exciting new opportunity to keep learning!
We want to move away from the use of petroleum-based plastics. The downsides of petroleum are well known: its use results in considerable CO2 emissions and it will eventually run out, and therefore also become expensive. Plastics can also be produced using sustainable raw materials such as starch or lactic acid. The problem, however, is that petroplastics have some important properties that we do not want to have to give up.
Bacteria, fungi, yeast, algae… Although it’s not something we’re aware of every day, much of what we eat and drink is processed by these microscopic organisms. Fermentation is the natural process which determines the flavour, aroma, colour, nutritional value and shelf-life of many products. As a process it offers food producers infinite possibilities, only a fraction of which are currently being used.
The production of platform chemicals is one of the developments with lots of potential, as we gradually need to become less dependent on petroleum.
What is the effect of biodegradable plastic on the ocean litter problem? This is the subject of a recent study by UNEP, the environmental programme of the United Nations. One of the conclusions was that biodegradable plastics do not offer the solution to these problems. Although I largely agree with…
The interest in lignin from the industry is undiminished. Although there are still plenty of challenges to face on the road to successful market introductions, the potential of lignin is excellent. The green gold of the biobased economy? I believe so.
Algae are said to be the green gold of the biobased economy. They are crammed with oils, fats, proteins and sugars – ingredients that are crucial in the production of food, animal feed, chemicals, materials and fuels. Wageningen University & Research is working on technology that will allow production chains for bulk products from algae to be developed in an economically efficient and sustainable way, for example in the project AlgaePARC.
In 2011, the ad hoc advisory committee for biobased products appointed by the European Commission formulated 15 main recommendations to stimulate the market development of biobased products. Four years later, the EU asked the expert group for biobased products to carry out an assessment of which actions had been taken based on these recommendations.