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Description

Main research question/goal
In a bio-based economy, renewable resources are transformed in a range of bio-products, biomaterials and bio-energy through the use of biological systems and approaches. A major goal is to have a closed system without losses at any given time. ILVO, a partner within this broader research project, is involved in the development of crops and conversion technology using green and white biotechnology. For the by-products, we search for valorization routes with high added value derived from the bio-conversion processes. The legislative and economic aspects of the bio-based economy are also studied. The bio-based economy is in full development; major driving forces are rising oil prices, the aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and achieving more sustainable production processes.


 

Research approach
The research groups involved stem from various disciplines: bio-engineering, biological sciences, economy, business administration and law. This multidisciplinary approach focuses on a synergistic interaction between green and white biotechnologies. ILVO’s task is to evaluate crops for the production of renewable resources. In a long-term field trial with common crops (maize, grassland, short rotation coppice) and less common crops (sorghum, Miscanthus, reed canary grass, switchgrass) yield and quality traits are compared. The less well-known crops are valuable for their genetic gains for use in biobased applications. A second research task is to apply biochar (a by-product of pyrolysis) in agriculture. This study also involves a long-term field experiment in which biochar is applied to the soil to enrich the soil carbon content.


 

Relevance/Valorisation
ILVO generates knowledge relevant to Flemish agriculture. The field trials involving several crops serves as a demonstration platform for the agriculture industry. Results are published in scientific publications and press releases. Biochar, produced from the by-products of the bio-based economy, can help to the close the production circle, contributing to a carbon neutral economy. The research serves to understand how biochar affects soil quality, nutrient dynamics and crop production.

External partner(s)
Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant
UGent - Fac. Economie en Bedrijfskunde
UGent - Fac. Wetenschappen
AcronymGHENT-BIO-ECONOMY
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/04/1031/03/15

ID: 4152608