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Unlocking Alternative Carbon Sources for Sustainable Materials

08 Nov 2023
Sustainable Materials and Chemicals
 To date, we are still using 750 mega tonnes of fossil fuels to cover the embedded carbon demand of the chemical industry. To defossilise the chemical industry we need to find ways to shift this enormous demand towards alternative feedstock. In the recent years, for example bioplastics have become an intensively investigated field of research. However, considering the limited availability of carbon in side streams from agriculture and forestry, there is a pressing need to utilize said carbon sources most efficiently or to finding additional carbon sources that do not conflict with food production and the preservation of our ecosystem at the same time. At Fraunhofer IGB, we develop technologies that combine the strengths of biotechnology and chemistry to unlock novel carbon sources for a wide range of applications, such as plastic and materials, but also for fine and specialty chemicals. Our focus lays on the coupling of biological cultivation processes and chemical pre- or post-treatment for the efficient utilization of agricultural and municipal residual biomass and carbon dioxide as feedstock. In my presentation, I want to highlight the potential of currently developed technologies for making materials for the plastic industry from said feedstock.