Top emerging bio-based products, their properties and industrial applications
This study was performed for the EC-DG RTD under the framework of the BIOSPRI tender "Study on support to R&I policy in the area of bio-based products (BBPs) and services", implemented by the University of Bologna (Italy) and the Fraunhofer ISI (Germany) as part of a consortium led by COWI A/S. The study mapped the most relevant value chains currently under development that originate from different kinds of large-volume biomass components (natural rubber, vegetable fibres, lignin, renewable oils and fats) and low-volume high-value (LVHV) biomass components (terpenes, natural polyelectrolytes) as well as urban wastes. More than 100 innovative BBPs were monitored; lignin was found to generate the highest number of innovative products, together with terpenes and urban wastes. More than 30 innovative BBPs are approaching full availability on the market, and more than 20 products are now at the pilot plant level. Through an assessment of the active marketplace, EU-based development, innovation degree and market potential, the top 20 most innovative BBPs holding the greatest promise for commercial deployment within the next 5–10 years were identified. This selection includes engineering materials, new bioplastics, high added-value products for demanding applications in the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields as well as sustainable substitutes for critical raw materials. Detailed case studies on these top 20 innovative BBPs were prepared.