Biorefining in a Circular Economy

Wageningen University & Research Report: Small-scale biorefining


Reports & Papers

One promising way to accelerate the market implementation of integrated biorefineries is to promote small (regional) biorefinery initiatives. Small-scale biorefineries require relatively low initial investments, and therefore are often lacking the financing problems that larger facilities face (new technologies with often complicated business cases making it difficult to get proper financing conditions). They are potentially able to make use of available local resources and involve stakeholders and product markets that create a common foundation for joint development and market deployment. Furthermore, by using modular and transportable units, the refinery process potentially can be operated at several locations, increasing their operation window, and therefore their market competitiveness. Small-scale biorefinery processes seem to be specifically interesting for the efficient and sustainable valorisation for relatively wet agro-crops (grass, beets, maize, etc.), agro-residues (leaves/foliage), food processing residues and aquatic biomass (microalgae, duckweed, etc.).

de Visser & van Ree – 2017 – Small-scale biorefining