Borregaard is one of 14 European companies participating in a demonstration project for the conversion of biomass from wood to value-added chemicals. The project has received funding of Euro 9.9 million (NOK 92 million) from BBI, which is a programme under EU Horizon 2020. NOK 8.5 million goes to Borregaard. The project formally starts on September 1 and will run for three years.
The project is called BIOFOREVER, which stands for “BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes”, involves comparing different pre-treatment methods for the production of chemicals based on various types of wood such as spruce, poplar and demolition wood. The comparison parameters will be the quality of the final product (lignin and sugar solution) and the profitability of the various methods. Borregaard’s proprietary BALI method is one of the pre-treatments to be compared with other established methods.
The project also aims to demonstrate that the sugar solutions can be used for the production of chemicals such as butanol, ethanol, Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and enzymes. Butanol and FDCA can be used in the production of bioplastics and thus replace oil-based plastics such as PET bottles. In addition, the project will seek new applications for lignin, which is currently used in agriculture, fisheries, construction and batteries.
The total budget of the project is Euro 16.2 million. The 14 participating companies are: API Europe (Greece), Avantium Chemicals BV (Netherlands), Bioprocess Pilot Facility BV (Netherlands), Borregaard AS (Norway), Bio Refinery Development BV (Netherlands), DSM (Netherlands), Elkem Carbon AS (Norway), Green Biologics Ltd (UK), Metgen Oy (Finland), Nova Institute (Germany), Novasep Process SAS (France), Phytowelt, Green Technologies GmbH (Germany), Port of Rotterdam (Netherlands) and SUEZ Groupe (France).