Report: Distribution of the bio-based industry in the EU

Introduction of the Report

Nowadays, many industrial sectors are developing innovative products and value chains to substitute finite fossil feedstock resources with renewable raw materials. This change is the main focus area of the European Bioeconomy strategy (European Commission 2018) and is showing a growing trend, especially in chemical products and composite materials. However, clear data on the development of this emerging bio-based industry are still missing. Biorefineries represent a key element in the European bio-based sector and are specifically addressed in the 2018 revision of the Bioeconomy Strategy, in particular in many concepts of Action 1 (Strengthen and scaleup the bio-based sectors, unlock investments and markets) (European Commission 2018). Biorefining is also one of the key enabling strategies of the circular economy, closing the loop in raw biomass materials (re-use of forestry, agricultural, aquatic, processing and postconsumer residues), minerals, water and carbon (de Jong, Higson et al. 2012). Therefore, the description of the distribution of biorefineries in the European Union together with an analysis of the main feedstock sources and products is key to describe the status of the biobased sector in Europe and the main drivers for its future development. The JRC already made a first attempt to provide the description of facilities producing bio-based chemicals, liquid biofuels and biocomposites and fibres in the EU (Parisi 2018). This document reports on the follow-up activity of the JRC, which consisted in expanding the initial database to additional facilities using biomass for product manufacturing (pulp&paper mills, sugar refineries, starch plants, biomethane plants and sawmills), for a total of 2,362 facilities, and the creation of an interactive visualisation platform representing their distribution.

Copy of the Report is available HERE

Source: European Commission (JRC)

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