The global annual production of adipic acid is currently three million tonnes. It is mainly derived from fossil oil and the byproduct, nitrous oxide, is a very powerful greenhouse gas. The production is, thus, anything but sustainable. Emma Karlsson, a PhD student at Industrial biotechnology at Chalmers, is on the track to find a sustainable solution for adipic acid production.
We set out to write a review that didn’t just discuss how algae production work in general, but instead focused on how it can become more viable through integration with industry and outputs from other processes. In particular, we considered requirements for nutrients, water, carbon dioxide and heat, which are all essential for algal cultivation and have a large bearing on the impact and cost of production at large scales.
The BioBuF project consortium organised one of the workshops, entitled “Future Biorefineries from raw materials to bio-products: development and analysis” at EUBCE 2017, which took place in Stockholm from June 12th to June 15th, 2017. The EUBCE covers the entire value chain of biomass to conduct business, to network, and to present and discuss the latest developments and innovations, the vision is to educate the biomass community and to accelerate growth. The EUBCE gathers participants from industry, academia as well as from the public sector and public authorities.
At the International Science Festival in Gothenburg (Vetenskapsfestivalen), the BioBuF project held a session focused on biorefineries and the research done within the project.
The products we use in our everyday life, such as fuels, chemicals and materials, are made from a variety of raw materials, but in many cases they are made from the refining of oil or other non-renewable, fossil, resources. However, if these non-renewable resources could be replaced by biological resources in the production of a product, for instance bio-plastics, the product’s environmental impact could hopefully be reduced.