Technological watch

Rehap Workshop highlights fast development of bio-based products

At the end of September, held over the morning of the 27th, the Rehap Workshop at the University of Augsburg promoted successful cases for bio-based products and materials, as well as detailed results from the ongoing Rehap project.

Four presentations were made from Rehap partners, focused on the techniques and bottlenecks of the technologies and processes they have used in their research.

Logistics management – Overview of procuring and forecasting how much biomass is available in Europe.
Prioritised the theoretical, technical and bioeconomic potentials of agroforestry waste in Europe and an interactive database has been developed to show these quantities. A collection/supply network is to be established for the transportation of agroforestry residue into eco-efficient products, taking into consideration economic and environmental parameters.

Biochemistry – A look at the specific protocols, extraction and isolation methods of lignin and tannin.
Higher extraction temperature and the addition of Na2CO3 are the most important factors to increase tannin yield, with challenges occurring in the hydrolysis of oligo- or polymeric carbohydrates in raw tannin. Fresh saw mill spruce bark is the most promising source of tannins, however it is recommended that raw tannin extract is used instead.

Process upscaling – Developing, validating and upscaling products suitable for application in the targeted final products.
It is not easy to convert the abundance of lignocellulosic biomass for commercial viability. However, the extraction and isolation of tannins, lignin and carbohydrates from forestry waste streams are being tested and scaled up amidst challenges of scaling biomass fractionation processes. The carbohydrates will be used to upscale 2,3-butanediol from fermentation.

Sustainability evaluation – Market analysis and impact assessment through a life cycle approach.
Key areas looked at the preliminary LCA and LCC on Rehap processes and materials with aims to be the starting point for processes’ optimisation from an environmental and economic point of view, and to set standards to achieve Rehap’s environmental targets. Results are relevant for the whole industrial sector and should be integrated within decision-making processes.

Project presentations were followed by an informative presentation from an expert from the Technical University of Munich, Professor Dr. Klaus Richter.

Cascade use of wood – Concept and case studies
A look at how the forestry sector can fit a circular economy to improve resource efficiency. Cascading case studies were presented. This approach uses the same unit of wood for multiple applications with a gradual reduction in quality and size. Based on the WoodWisdom EraNet case study, a number of best practices were established as well as barriers, including health and safety guidelines and the need for a tool to maintain recovered wood quality.

For more information regarding ongoing Rehap results, or if you have any questions regarding the workshop, please contact Amelia Brice:

Publication date: 09/11/2018

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This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2020-07-14