Material use of biomass
Raw materials from agriculture and forestry as well as waste materials originating from other industrial paths have been used since a long time for the production of materials, fabrics and household goods. Regardless this long tradition the material use of biomass has been displaced during the 20th century by fossil resources. With the current shortage and price increase and the environmental impacts accompanying the use of fossil resources intensive and target-oriented research for alternatives is strongly required.
Carbon is the most important element for the manufacturing of products and commodities. Due to the shrinking availability of fossil fuels in the future carbon has to be increasingly substituted by renewable resources. In contrast to the provision of energy from renewable sources (e.g. wind or water) no alternative carbon sources are available for producing carbon based materials apart from biomass.
Moreover, requirements of modern industrial production processes as well as current consumer expectations demand for a high degree of raw material and product quality as well as cost efficiency.
This places high demands on the development of sustainable agricultural production processes and of the subsequent technologies and processes for preparation and primary processing of plant biomass.
In an interdisciplinary approach ATB is working intensively on innovative solutions. The Institute closely collaborates with especially small and medium enterprises (SME's) - also targeting at creating employment and income alternatives in rural areas.
Research areas at the ATB:
- Biotechnological conversion of renewable resources in chemicals and active components
- Technologies for processing plant fibres
Germany provides the necessary prerequisites for the agricultural and forestry primary production to meet future challanges. This applies at least to the extent that standards of sustainable and environmentally friendly production are observed and the basic supply of food and feed is assured. The „Action plan of the federal government for the material use of renewable resources“ (2009) and the "Biomass strategy of the Federal State of Brandenburg” (2010) offer the appropriate political framework to support the scientific efforts to meet the apparent challenges.
Further information: BMELV websites for a bio based economy