BIOPOL is a two-year research project funded by the European Commission since 2007 through the Sixth Framework Programme. The overall goal of BIOPOL is to assess the status (technical, social, environmental, political, and implementation) of innovative BIOrefinery concepts and the implications for agricultural and forestry POLicy. Biorefinery concepts are aimed at relevant market-competitive and environmental-friendly synthesis of bio-products (chemicals and/or materials) together with the production of secondary energy carriers (transportation fuels, power and/or CHP). BIOPOL was conceived to address the fact that the wider expectations for biorefineries have not yet yielded clear definitions for biorefinery concepts, or an understanding of the current status and prospective benefits of biorefining in Europe. Therefore the BIOPOL project was designed to assess the current status of biorefinery activities in Europe and explore future scenarios for development. By systematically accounting for potential technical, political, social and industrial impacts of such scenarios their outputs will be utilised to inform policy formulation in this area. By drawing from several complimentary research disciplines the insights gained will be able to inform EU policy-making and help frame future research directions both in Europe and elsewhere.
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