A pilot project for a climate-neutral bioeconomy in BernWednesday 26 May 2021
© Berner Fachhochschule (BFH)
The Institute for Materials and Wood Technology IWH of the Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH has developed processes to extract plant substances from biomass, an alternative to petroleum suitable for various applications.
A further significant step has been taken in the canton of Bern towards replacing petroleum in various applications by using renewable raw materials.
In recent years, the Institute for Materials and Wood Technology IWH of the Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH has developed processes to extract vegetal substances from biomass, for example from spruce bark.
These can replace petroleum-based substances in various applications. The Biel site now operates a pilot extraction plant which, together with partner company Schilliger Holz, is preparing the transfer of processes to an industrial scale. This pilot plant is used to test processes before they are applied on an industrial scale and to generate extracts for the development of products.
The applications are numerous: low-emission adhesives for wood-based materials, resin systems with very high fire resistance or, due to the high degree of bioactivity, as an additive in animal feed. The pilot plant paves the way for the creation of a sustainable value chain for Swiss wood.
A unique infrastructure in the perspective of a Swiss bioeconomy
The pilot extraction facility is an infrastructure for the industrial valorization of biomass to develop new and unique products on a national and international scale.
Together with business partners, the research teams at the BFH are developing commercially viable and sustainable products in the context of a Swiss bioeconomy, in which fossil fuels are replaced by renewable raw materials.
The resulting plant-based substances not only make it possible to replace petroleum-based components in product formulae, but also offer the possibility of considerably reducing the ecological footprint of products through a constant approach towards eco-design.