Biomass & Agrifood

Within the Agri & Food sector, vegetable (including roadside grass) and animal (manure) residue streams are released which can be reused for other applications. For example, generating green gas from manure, producing paper using fibres from grass or using wool as insulation material. The waste streams also offer raw materials which can be used for green chemistry.

We research and co-develop innovative processes and products enabling this high-quality application of residual flows, focusing on a sustainable and circular (re)design of the chain.


Why Ecoras for biomass and sustainable agrifood?

We have extensive knowledge of materials and their properties. In finding a biobased alternative, we also use our network within the agri-food industry. We go beyond researching biobased opportunities. By doing a life cycle analysis, we demonstrate the environmental benefits of the biobased alternative. With a market study, we provide you with the economic basis.

Frequently Asked Sustainability Questions

First of all, it is important to have a clear idea of what properties the raw material has to meet. For example, does it have to be very strong, flexible or wear-resistant. From there, we can look for a natural alternative. If your raw material is paper, we can look at a bio-based fibre, if it is a plastic you usually end up with a biopolymer. If it is textile, we look for native plants such as flax, hemp, bulrush or nettle which can provide a suitable fibre. We are also currently investigating bio-based options for coating and colouring products. Ecoras supports and advises companies in their search for natural feedstocks. We always take a wider view, preferably mapping out the entire chain.

What is the product used for? Just as importantly, where does the product end up, intended or unintended? These are two essential questions before you start researching how to make a product biodegradable. After all, not everything that degrades on land also degrades in the sea. It is also important to know what properties and requirements the product has to meet. Does it have to be strong, flexible or wear-resistant? The more you process a natural product to make it meet certain properties, the greater the chance that it will not remain a natural product and will therefore not degrade properly in nature. Ecoras explores the possibilities in terms of natural alternatives for companies and governments, the environmental impact and the feasibility and scalability of bio-based raw materials.

It depends on how you define biodegradable. Something can biodegrade in nature or in a composting plant. Not all bio-based feedstocks are by definition biodegradable in nature. In fact, whether it is easily biodegradable depends on so many things. Anything that comes directly from nature can also go straight back into nature. But if we modify the natural product extensively to make it stronger or waterproof, for example, the level of degradability in nature decreases. Also, the thicker the material, the longer it takes for it to degrade. In short, a bio-based feedstock is not necessarily biodegradable. Therefore, when designing your product or selecting the right raw material, it is important to determine the end-of-life options in advance. Ecoras supports and advises companies in designing and manufacturing products based on biodegradable feedstocks.

We are happy to help you find out which raw material it is and what applications it is suitable for. It may be that your residual stream contains valuable proteins or fibres, for instance. We analyse raw materials, crops and residual streams based on the BBE Value Pyramid. We always strive for the highest-value application. A protein might be applied in pharma or as a fertilizer in the agri-food sector. Fibre can be applied in a material, but also as biomass for the production of other materials. We can connect you with one or more organisations that want to use this bio feedstock Ecoras has an extensive network and is happy to connect companies.