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Green economy

Biomass is also used as a base product in the chemical industry and for the production of materials. The circular biobased economy involves the transition from an economy run on fossil fuels to one that runs on biomass and waste as its raw material.

Biomass is ideally suited as a replacement for fossil fuels in applications where carbon is essential, such as fuels, materials and chemicals. It can also be used for materials such as plastics, chemicals, cosmetics and medicines.

‘The Netherlands is perfectly placed to make a success of the biobased economy: it has outstanding knowledge of agriculture, good logistics and a leading chemical sector.’

Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation for the Biobased Economy (TKI BBE)

In the years ahead, biomass is expected to play an increasingly important role in our economy. The main reasons for this are innovation, economic opportunities, energy security and the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Getting all the goodness out

An important term in the biobased economy is cascading. Cascading means always taking the components with the highest-added value out of the biomass first. These high-quality components can be used for complex chemical processes, such as medicines or chemicals. Other components of the biomass can then be used to generate energy. This ensures that all components are put to optimum use. The fact that biomass is now primarily used for the production of electricity and heat means that flows of biomass are available that can initiate this cascading.