Biorefineries are the heart of the bioeconomy. Here, different types of biomass are fully utilised and transformed into a large variety of chemicals and materials.
The map distinguishes between “Sugar-/starch based biorefineries”, producing bioethanol and other chemicals (63), “Oil-/fat-based biorefineries – biodiesel” (64) and “Oil-/fat-based biorefineries – oleochemistry” (54), “Wood-based biorefineries” (25) excluding those that produce pulp for paper only, “Lignocellulose other than wood” (5) and finally “Biowaste-based biorefineries” (13).
The prevalence of biorefineries differs considerably between countries. The type of biorefinery is clearly dependent on the locally available biomass. Wood-based biorefineries can be found mainly in Northern Europe and “Sugar-/starch based biorefineries” mainly in France, Belgium, Germany and Hungary, where we see high yields in sugar and starch.
To create this map, Cologne-based nova-Institute conducted a comprehensive survey of all European biorefineries in summer 2017. The project was done on behalf of the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC).
For this purpose, a large number of sources were evaluated and an online survey was carried out, during which biorefineries could register themselves. Eventually, 224 biorefineries were identified and mapped across Europe.
Several dozens more biorefineries are currently under construction. The map, which is available in the right box, is to be updated annually.