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Paving the way to a bio-based future for the European chemical industry

EU project RoadToBio publishes roadmap

20-May-2019

How can the share of bio-based raw materials used in the European chemical industry be increased to 25 % by 2030? As conclusion of its two-year work, the EU project RoadToBio has published a roadmap that outlines how this goal could be achieved. Based on the analysis of nine product groups, the roadmap identifies opportunities, challenges and actions across industry, policy and civil society to advance the replacement of fossil products by bio-based products.

The roadmap provides an evidence-based foundation for the EU chemical industry upon which future industry and policy actions can be implemented. The project consortium identified opportunities and barriers for bio-based platform chemicals and dedicated chemicals. This was achieved through market analysis and stakeholder interviews to understand demand drivers, and through an analysis of opportunities to supply bio-based chemicals in nine product groups (plastics/polymers, solvents, surfactants, man-made fibres, adhesives, cosmetics, paints & coatings, lubricants and agrochemicals). Recommendations for short, mid, and long term actions are proposed together with the stakeholders who need to be involved implementing the actions.

Wider issues affecting the development of bio-based chemicals and the involvement of the chemical industry in the bioeconomy were also identified and actions recommended to facilitate access to feedstock, remove regulatory and societal barriers, and improve competitiveness.

To ensure the relevance of the proposals, stakeholders from the chemical industry, policy makers and NGOs have been involved throughout the project via surveys, interviews and workshops. Webinars and presentations at a wide range of events ensured the visibility of the project and helped to expand the stakeholder network.

RoadToBio started in May 2017 with the objective to develop a roadmap for achieving a 25 % share of bio-based products in the EU organic chemical industry in 2030 (as compared to 10 % share in 2016). A consortium of four partners – DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V., BTG Biomass Technology Group B.V., E4tech (UK) Ltd. and nova-Institut für politische und ökologische Innovation GmbH – analysed promising opportunities, barriers and enablers associated with bio-based chemicals. A roadmap was developed that comprises three key publications:

  • Strategy Document providing in-depth background information on the drive for bio-based market growth, as well as the opportunities and barriers to increasing the share of bio-based chemicals in nine product groups
  • Action Plan summarising actions for implementing the roadmap
  • Engagement Guide providing communication tools to promote bio-based chemicals and easy-to-read information on the roadmap

The goal of the roadmap is to lead to an increased share of bio-based chemicals produced by the EU chemical industry, delivering significant reductions in carbon emissions and increased energy efficiency, and creating a strong competitive position for the EU chemical industry in decades to come.

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