In times of concern about scarcity of raw materials, biorefineries can be important and reliable regional suppliers. Raw materials can be obtained from waste and wastewater and returned to the economic cycle. To envision this, platform chemicals as amino acid, ammonium or hydrogen can be extracted from wastewater in sewage treatment plants.
The Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector, together with the EU Commission, is funding the construction and implementation of five modular biorefineries, as part of the ERDF funding programme “Bio-Economy Bio-Ab-Cycling”. In total the funding will be 19 million euros: 7,7 million euros from the European Union, 11,2 million euros from the State of Baden-Württemberg.
Through these five funded biorefineries processes that already work on a small scale are tested to enable a large-scale use. Therefore, the biorefineries work as demonstration and pilot plants. This intermediate stage is necessary and important before the processes are implemented in municipalities or industry.
In the following graphic, an overview of the funded projects is presented:
Source: Ministry of Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg
Great advantages of funding those five demonstration biorefineries is to enable the large-scale use of these bioeconomy processes for Baden-Württemberg, but also across borders. Knowledge and gained experience can be shared across the whole Danube Region. Recovered raw materials have and will have a high importance for society and economy of Baden-Württemberg and the Danube Region.
For example the results of the five demonstration plants are of interest for municipalities, because there is a great potential to use these techniques to generate income. Additionally, value creation in the region reduces dependencies on other regions when it comes to raw materials – what is in the interest of all.