14 European companies, including SUEZ, have teamed up to launch an ambitious programme: “BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes” (BIOFOREVER). The goal of the programme is to transform and recover raw materials made of wood as high added-value products for the industry.
Launched in September 2016, this three-year project is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and has received €16 million in funding. It brings together fourteen companies (1) from eight countries, united around a common goal: to demonstrate the viability of a conversion chain of woody biomass into chemicals on a European scale.
Today, wood is a resource used mainly to make paper pulp or construction materials. The BIOFOREVER project will look into different processes to pre-treat waste made of wood materials and to extract the fibres, molecules and complex sugars required to manufacture numerous chemicals used in industry. Recovering woody biomass in this way would reduce the environmental impact of industrial manufacturers in the pharmaceuticals, chemicals and cosmetics sectors, by increasing the use of secondary raw materials in their products.
As a stakeholder in the project, SUEZ is interested in the use of waste wood (A and B: untreated and lightly treated wood), and in applying the expertise of its recycling and recovery activity in Belgium, and of its research center CIRSEE in the waste flow management and waste recovery processes.
(1) The fourteen partners are Borregaard (Norway), API Europe (Greece), Avantium Chemicals (Netherlands), Bioprocess Pilot Facility (Netherlands), Bio Refinery Development (Netherlands), DSM (Netherlands), Elkem Carbon (Norway), Green Biologics (UK), MetGen (Finland), Nova Institute (Germany), Novasep Process (France), Phytowelt, Green Technologies (Germany), Rotterdam Port (Netherlands) and SUEZ (France)