Adopting optimal ways of using and transforming various raw materials and their co-products
The bioeconomy seeks to replace fossil-fuel-based materials and energies with their biomass-based counterparts, whether the biomass comes from dedicated crops (e.g., hemp, sorghum, and intermediate crops grown for energy production) or organic waste (e.g., agricultural waste, waste from the agrifood industry, urban waste, and wastewater). This major transition is about more than just a shift in resource use. It will require adopting optimal ways of using and transforming various raw materials and their co-products, all the way from production to consumption. Faced with these challenges, we have defined the four questions that will structure INRAE’s future research on the bioeconomy: How can we produce and exploit greater levels of biomass given climatic constraints and the need to preserve ecosystems and conserve resources? How can we optimise the transformation of diverse types of biomass? How can we ensure that materials are being properly recycled to close carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles? How can we predict, organise, and manage different fluxes, exchanges, and markets in uncertain circumstances? To find optimal, scale-appropriate answers to these questions, it will be necessary to develop techniques for acquiring and analysing massive quantities of data.
At the end of 2018, commercialisation of the Futurol process was entrusted to Axens, and ARD acquired the pilot plant, a valuable tool that will support its international deployment.
EcoBioCAP has enabled the production of packaging materials made entirely by converting food industry wastes and by-products into packaging constituents. Long-lasting and adapted to perishable foods, their properties have been adjusted to the demands of different products. EcoBioCAP is also posing the first foundations for more widespread recycling of these "wastes turned into raw materials".
Partners in the ANR SafeFoodPackDesign project have made a platform available to food and packaging companies that can simulate the effects of technical choices on the final contamination of packaging systems. This tool took its inspiration from a design practice that is widely applied in the aeronautical industry.
Our research focuses on exploiting biomass as a source of renewable carbon to produce biomaterials, biofuels and bioenergy. We also work on waste recycling (e.g., wastewater, solid waste from agriculture or the agrifood industry) through a circular bioeconomy approach.
> Read reports and emblematic cases from our research in these areas. New issues will regularly be posted for this topic.