Hands-on expertise for the bioeconomy

December 07, 2023

Around the world, research into the use of waste and residual materials is extremely important. Most of the ethanol that is currently blended with petrol as a biofuel still comes from sugar beet or sugar cane, i.e. from raw materials that are also used for food. There are still too few processes for producing large quantities of biofuels from waste and residual materials. What has been successful in the laboratory, namely the production of biodegradable polymers based on renewable raw materials, is still extremely difficult and expensive on a large scale.

International projects on biofuels

Michael Zavrel also wants to apply his knowledge internationally: He is in contact with colleagues in Kenya to use the invasive species water hyacinth, which causes massive damage to the local ecosystem, as biomass for energy production. Projects with partners in Brazil are also in the pipeline.

Around the world, research into the use of waste and residual materials is extremely important. Most of the ethanol that is currently blended with petrol as a biofuel still comes from sugar beet or sugar cane, i.e. from raw materials that are also used for food. There are still too few processes for producing large quantities of biofuels from waste and residual materials.

The same is true for biopolymers. What has been successful in the laboratory, namely the production of biodegradable polymers based on renewable raw materials, is still extremely difficult and expensive on a large scale. Here, too, Michael Zavrel's many years of practical experience in bioprocess engineering will be helpful.