Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A biomass boost to Europe’s bioeconomy

The EU is strongly promoting the growth and development of a sustainable European bioeconomy, of which one of its core components would be the greater uptake of biomass – organic materials to produce chemicals, materials, energy, pharmaceuticals, and many other sustainable and innovative products. This shift to biomass is being underpinned by substantial R&D efforts under FP7 and Horizon 2020.
A biomass boost to Europe’s bioeconomy
Increasing the production and mobilisation of biomass can have a number of highly positive benefits for the EU’s economy and wider society. These include contributions to the EU’s fight against climate change, ensuring European (and global) food security, building blocks for new and sustainable raw materials, as well as helping to diversify the EU energy sources. The cultivation and sourcing of biomass will also benefit the EU’s long-term economic growth and would be a key generator of new and highly-skilled jobs, all within the broader context of a flourishing and vibrant bioeconomy.

In particular, the agricultural sector will have a crucial role to play in bringing biomass’s full potential to fruition. Many promising avenues are currently being explored and supported by the European Commission, such as the development of industrial crops able to grow on marginal lands, new methods being pioneered on crop diversification, and the growth of multi-purpose crops (i.e. providing both food but also non-food outputs).

As part of the wider picture, it is planned that these efforts will provide the agricultural sector with the knowledge and expertise needed to support resource-efficient and resilient strategies and solutions for biomass production that allow for increased biomass production but without compromising sustainability targets or local ecosystems.

This CORDIS Results Pack is thus focusing on eight EU-funded projects that have been leading the way in integrating novel biomass solutions into the wider European bioeconomy.

Selected projects include EUROPRUNING, which has developed a truly innovative pruning-to-energy value chain and the ITAKA project that has used camelina oil to produce sustainable commercial biojet fuel that has the potential to power more than just the aviation industry. Meanwhile, the GRASSMARGINS project has identified the optimal perennial grasses to cultivate as biomass crops on marginal non-arable land, whilst the OPTIMA consortium has cultivated high-yielding perennial grasses capable of serving as the source of many exciting new bio-based products.
Improving the logistics for European bioenergy crops
An EU-funded project has been working on enhancing biomass logistics for energy production from harvesting to transport and storage, contributing to the growth of a truly...
Creating a better hemp plant
EU researchers are developing new varieties of hemp capable of feeding an innovative hemp bio-refinery and serving as a sustainable alternative to cotton.
Planting the seeds for a biomaterial market
EU-funded researchers have discovered that poplar and tobacco plants can serve as an effective feedstock for a range of bio-products, including bio-diesel and bio-plastics.
The sky’s the limit with innovative EU-produced jet biofuel
The EU-funded ITAKA project has paved the way for the development of a framework to prepare commercial biojet fuel value chains, opening up an exciting new element in the growth of...
Seeing bio-product potential in perennial grasses
EU-funded researchers have cultivated high-yielding perennial grasses capable of being grown on marginal agricultural lands and serving as a source for new and sustainable...
Growing grasses on the margins - the route to cost effective biomass crops
EU researchers through the GRASSMARGINS project have identified the best perennial grasses to cultivate as biomass crops on marginal non-arable land. Through mapping the available...
Making more of Misanthus
The EU-funded OPTIMISC project set out to study and improve the potential of Miscanthus grass for biomass production. Through extensive laboratory and field tests the first new...
Innovative pruning-to-energy value chain provides big bio-boost to Europe
The EU-funded EUROPRUNING project has implemented a true pruning-to-energy value chain by introducing new technology and by removing barriers to the use of agricultural residues as...

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