Biorefinery concepts for the utilization of lignocellulosic biomass are a promising approach to ensure the supply of raw materials and energy in a biobased economy. As part of the FocusLab AP³, an interdisciplinary team of eight partners established a novel biorefinery concept: perennial plants, cultivated on marginal soils, are converted to platform chemicals such as cellulose, sugar and lignin using OrganoCat technology.
The FocusLab Bio² aimed to develop a competitive biorefinery process for the production of biobased surfactants. Rhamnolipids and mannosylerythritol lipids were produced by recombinant strains of Pseudomonas putida and Ustilago maydis, respectively. The project combined strain optimization with process development and in situ approaches to product recovery. A socio-economic assessment accompanied the process design up to the evaluation at technical scale.
In order to build economically viable biorefinery concepts, the development of closely linked biotransformations and chemotransformations as well as tailored downstream processing is necessary. Based on these hybrid production processes, biorefineries can be developed into ecologically and economically operating \"multi-substrate-to-multi-product\" factories. As part of the FocusLab HyImPAct, a first hybrid demonstrator process for the production of platform chemicals and pharmaceutically active compounds was developed.
In the FocusLab CombiCom, secondary metabolite metabolic pathways were exploited to make natural products and new derivatives based on them available for the development of active ingredients for the agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors. With a view to a potential market launch, this was accompanied by testing of relevant bioactivities of the compounds and by an evaluation of the social acceptance of products from synthetic biological processes.
The FocusLab greenRelease aimed to significantly reduce the use of fungicides and herbicides. The greenRelease technology is based on microgel containers that slowly release active ingredients and leaf-binding anchor peptides. In field trials conducted by the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Agriculture, the same protection against apple scab disease was achieved with a 3-fold reduction in fungicide use compared with conventional products. In parallel, a regulatory and economic evaluation was carried out.
The Rhenish mining area will change a lot in the next few years and is to become a model region for a sustainable bioeconomy. This task for society as a whole provides rare insights into how such transformation processes work. But not only that - valuable knowledge for the future can also be gained.
The MS Wissenschaft with the exhibition accompanying the Bioeconomy Science Year 2020/21 set off for the second time. Again on the 2021 tour, the exhibit „Algae Flipper“ with the BioSCs`s participation is on board. The docking dates in NRW as well as further current information on events and calls can be found here.
Save the date: The NRW PhD Day 2021 will take place on September 28, with this year`s topic being „Future Food - Sustainable and efficient production“.