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BASF is one of the world's leading chemical company, with a vast portfolio ranging from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas.
Alois Kindler is a Sen. Principal Scientist in the Department of Organic Synthesis at BASF, with a particular interest for Lignin related Value Chains. He will be appearing on the Biobased value chains panel at the World Bioeconomy Forum (WCBEF) virtual event to be broadcast live from Ruka, Finland on 10th September 2020. Alois Kindler spoke to the WCBEF about the circular bioeconomy’s role in a post Covid-19 world and how the chemical industry can be supported to further enhance the development of new bioproducts.
How well are your particular industries doing when it comes to creating new bioproducts, and what could be done to help or enhance your progress further? (for example, government policy, or private investment)
The chemical industry has been offering a variety of biobased and/or biodegradable products for many years. The circularity paradigm offers the opportunity to maintain existing assets and value chains by diligently selecting the right "circular production strategies". For example, BASF is replacing a certain amount of fossil raw materials with renewable feedstock, which is partially derived from waste, as input in chemical processes. This amount can then be allocated to the respective sales products using the biomass balance approach. This structural transformation is not for free, however. Progress will be sped up, if all partners in the value chain help carrying these additional costs.
Do you see the circular bioeconomy as having an important role in the post Covid-19 world?
Yes, definitively. Circularity of product streams will play a key role in reducing both societal carbon footprint and environmental load on water, air and soil quality.
The World Bioeconomy Forum has a diverse range of high-level speakers and panelists, what are you hoping to achieve by taking part in the event, and what are your hopes for the future of the circular bioeconomy?
My hope is to exchange ideas and information to jointly improve understanding of the complex circular bioeconomy topic. Only by clear identification of key topics, for example defining the "optimal" biobased feedstock in terms of availability, cost and transformation efficiency, both sustainable and economically sound circular product flows can be developed.
The Biobased Value Chains Panel discussion at the event will also include: Niklas von Weymarn (Metsä Spring), Alex Michine (Metgen), Eddie Peace (West Fraser) and Bruno Gorrini (Arauco). The Panel will be moderated by Ludo Diels, Research Manager, Sustainable Chemistry Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) and Vice-chair of the Public-private-partnership SPIRE.
Five Minutes With… is a series of interviews being run by the WCBEF to highlight some of the high-level speakers and panellists taking part in the event this year. To view the whole full day programme and register for the event please visit http://www.wcbef.com/