BOKU Network for Bioconversion of Renewables

BOKU Network for Bioconversion of Renewables

Today global energy supply and production of chemical products is mainly based on fossil fuels. Due to the shortage of fossil resources and serious detrimental effects caused by climate change it is essential to adapt production processes to be based on renewable resources.  The total amount of chemical s produced worldwide is 400 million tons per year (≈ which corresponds to about 10 % of the global oil production) of which 300 million tons are polymers (= plastics). A change to biobased products would just require a minor proportion of total agricultural production - provided that we make use of the entire plant materials via biorefineries. A serious disadvantage of currently internationally established biorefineries is the sole utilisation of plants’ carbohydrates. Therefore a major deal of biomass remains unused or is simply burned. Third Generation Biorefineries can use the total vegetable raw materials!

Research on biorefineries – at BOKU and internationally

Worldwide enormous research efforts are dedicated to biorefineries. However, most of them still focus on energy recovery (biofuels, biogas or direct burning of biomass). Research on ultimately sustainable concepts remains scarce.

BOKU in a prominent position as international pioneer

  • BOKU is due to its expertise in a unique position to cover the entire range of the value chain from agricultural and forestry primary production to modern scenarios of biorefineries and bioconversions up to chemical application of final products (including all analytical, technological, economical and eco-social aspects).
  • There are already existing co-operations of BOKU with universities and companies which are active in the field of biorefineries / white biotechnology – in Europe as well as America and East Asia.

  • Currently the focus of the development of biorefineries is changing. While up to now emphasis was given to the use of starch or refined sugar this is not (ecologically) sustainable in the long run. However, the new developments require a highly interdisciplinary effort.

  • BOKU with its extraordinary expertise fulfills all qualifications to take a leading role for future scientific and economic co-operations in order to develop and implement sustainable and innovative concepts.