New applications for bio-based raw materials and solutions from Germany

BioEconomy Leading Edge Cluster publishes exclusive market potential study

In order to connect medium-sized companies from all over Germany in a technologically and economically successful manner to global markets, and to find new sales opportunities for biobased products, last year BioEconomy Leading Edge Cluster commissioned a major market potential study into solutions and applications in the bioeconomy sector. The 139-page study provides an exclusive overview of bioeconomic needs in various international industries and shows possible entry barriers to the market in the wood-based bioeconomy.

As a cross-industry value creation network, BioEconomy Leading Edge Cluster, local to Central Germany, combines research facilities and medium-sized companies in the wood-producing and processing industries with the chemical and energy-transforming industry from all over Germany and has specialised in value-adding cascaded use of local beechwood. In order to find out which of the partners’ intermediate and end products that are currently under development have particular international market potential, and which factors can facilitate and accelerate market entry, the Cluster commissioned in 2016 the nova-Institute for Ecology and Innovation with a comprehensive investigation.

Beech wood – one of the most attractive raw materials for the foreseeable future

The study comes to the conclusion that beech remains one of the most attractive renewable raw materials for the foreseeable future, as a growing supply so far only meets demand for low-value firewood. Due to high availability, spruce and pine are suitable alternatives, but these conifers have high competition in terms of material and energy use.

Enormous sales opportunities in the field of fragrances

Based on strength and weakness analyses of the timber value chains that were examined, the study reveals attractive sales opportunities for biobased aromatics such as dihydroeugenol. Because the aromatics market has so far had little consolidation and there is hardly any competition with petro- or biobased alternatives, high profits can be achieved for small quantities of substances in this market segment.

Growing demand for cellulose fibres

Ten years ago, cellulose fibres were already a growing market for which the Nova Institute is forecasting further annual growth of 5-10%. It is to be assumed that in the coming years new process technologies will reach market maturity, with which the property profiles of the cellulose fibres can be further developed and exploited. An increase in demand for cellulose fibres is expected, especially in the area of ​​microparticles.

Directly request the research findings

In a comparison of intermediate products, the study also provides interesting insights into the annual growth rate as well as the market volume of lactic and succinic acid or more specifically isobutene and isooctane. For questions regarding the detailed results you can contact directly the Leading Edge Cluster at


Discuss international applications on 10th and 11th May at the 6th International Bioeconomy Conference

On the 10th and 11th May, the 6th International Bioeconomy Conference in Halle an der Saale, there will be the opportunity to exchange information on the study with the BioEconomy Leading Edge Cluster and its partners and to explore the potential of its own products and solutions. The event’s programme includes – to match the research – the four subject areas (1) flavours, fragrances and food supplements, (2) cereals, (3) wood and (4) plant-based oils.

The conference is organised annually by the ScienceCampus Halle in cooperation with the BioEconomy Leading Edge Cluster, and is one of the most renowned events in bioeconomics in Germany and brings together outstanding scientific representatives, decision-makers, brand owners and companies from all over Germany as well as Europe.

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