While decision-makers across the world are still debating how significant its role will be in the future, some 78.4 Mtoe of biomass were used for heat and bio-heat in 2015. This is only halfway to the use levels of indigenous coal and natural gas, and slightly more than those of oil. And this is just the beginning, as biomass keeps entering new markets with each innovation brought by researchers in Europe and overseas.
In Europe, projects such as BRISK are facilitating this transition from lab to market by increasing the visibility of new technologies and processes. Since the project was launched in 2011, 200 individuals from 26 EU countries were able to carry out experiments and find partners outside their home country.
The potential of biomass is limitless, with new ideas constantly emerging. The UPCYCLINGTHEOCEANS project, for instance, aims to turn marine waste into high-end clothing. NEXTKOAT enables the production of non-toxic paints from seaweed, while other projects like D-FACTORY and LEGUVAL are looking into ways to convert microalgae into useful products and proteins into plastic replacements, respectively.
To take a closer look at the projects’ outcomes, click on the relevant links below:
– Research facility network catalyses Europe’s biomass protein
– Fashion on the high seas: turning marine waste into high-end clothing
– Non-toxic paints from seaweed
– From microalgae to useful products
– Proteins to replace plastic