Launch of the BioRefining Alliance

14.11.2011, News

An array of Denmark’s leading companies and the business organisation Danish Agriculture and Food Council founded the BioRefining Alliance today. The Alliance aims to develop Denmark’s stronghold within green bioproducts.

The LEGO you keep falling over at home, the petrol in your car and the chemicals that are omnipresent – they’re all products based on oil.

Try imagining the same products – only based on raw materials like straw and household waste. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s not.

Biotechnology makes it possible to transform our waste into the same products on which we have been dependent upon oil to get in the past. It’s technically challenging, but Denmark already leads bioproduct development internationally.

This new, groundbreaking BioRefining Alliance will develop Denmark’s front-runner position when it comes to establishing jobs and green growth in the international biobased society.

The BioRefining Alliance was launched today with a board and secretariat consisting of Dong Energy, Novozymes, Haldor Topsøe and the Danish Agriculture and Food Council.

’Biomass research and development is already advanced, and Denmark has conditions and competences that can sharpen the country’s stronghold even further. With the BioRefining Alliance, Denmark becomes a visible and sharp actor in the global quest for knowledge and products for the biobased society, creating possibilities for new growth and export adventures’, the Biorefining Alliance’s Chariman of the Board Charles Nielsen, DONG Energy’s R&D director, says.

The perspectives for bioproducts are vast. If Denmark succeeds in developing just a part of the solutions, for instance regarding the chemical industry’s dependence on oil, it can become a great business for the companies that understand how to market products based on this knowledge.

The first important step along the way towards making bioproducts is bioethanol made from excess biomass from agriculture. Here, Denmark is already a world leader, with the world’s largest demonstrational facility for the production of bioethanol based on straw, and Danish motorists are already using this fuel in their vehicles.

‘With a world population of seven billion people, there is enormous pressure on our resources, and we are forced to do more with less. At the same time, we need to find sustainable solutions for the oil on which our society is based. Denmark has a leading position when it comes to transforming biomass into products, but other countries are soundly on the way there, too.  So if Denmark is to keep its position within the field, new, strong initiatives have to see the light of day. That is why we’re establishing the BioRefining Alliance’, alliance board member Per Falholt, research director at Novozymes, says.

The basis for the BioRefining Alliance is a vision – ‘The 2020 vision: In Denmark, for the world’ – developed on the basis of a Strategy Camp in August 2011 where roughly 70 experts from the worlds of science, business and politics participated.

We’re not talking about a paper vision, but a real strategy – real life implementation is the BioRefining Alliance’s most important task.

At the launch on November 14, the BioRefining Alliance will present the organisation’s action plans and continue the efforts that began during the Strategy Camp in August 2011 – all with the aim of speeding up Danish biorefinery.