IPCC shows that all scenarios to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees centigrade require a rapid phase-out of fossil resources. This will require a transition to renewable energy sources such as water, wind, biological sources, and solar. Other products and materials are also based on fossil resources such as plastic and ingredients in everything from detergents and cosmetics to glue and flooring. The production of such materials must also shift to use biobased resources. At the same time, new value chains for biobased materials must be sustainable in their own right without creating problems in biodiversity, access to water, land use, or social conditions. Part of the solution is connected to waste resources from industry and household or production chains based on biogas, but also in employing biological resources in new ways, for instance through biorefineries.
NORSUS has always performed research on biobased materials, but this area has received increased attention in recent years. Together with Borregard, we have developed and presented a substantial body of knowledge about the sustainability of arguably the world’s most advanced biorefinery, also about future processes (BALI) and products (EXILVA). We have investigated the environmental impacts of production of jet fuel from waste and also scrutinised the sustainability of different material and energy applications for various organic surplus resources.