Marilia Foukaraki, Projectleader R&D Bio-based at Cosun Beet (NL), on the current development of the renewable carbon economy

Interview with Michael Carus, CEO of the nova-Institute

Michael Carus: How has the environment for the Renewable Carbon Economy evolved during the Corona pandemic, climate change and GreenDeal and the Ukraine war? (in terms of demand and investment)

Marilia Foukaraki (Cosun Beet)
Marilia Foukaraki (Cosun Beet) © nova-Institut

Marilia Foukaraki: Alarming climate change signals have demonstrated the need to act and in combination with the pandemic have mobilized consumers to switch to more renewable products. As a feedstock provider, we experience higher demand of bio-based solutions to serve different applications. This change is also reflected in our new Cosun strategy, targeting biobased solutions. This means that there is also a switch internally, resulting in an increased willingness to invest towards this direction.     

Michael Carus: Are there market preferences for any of the three sources of renewable carbon? Biomass first and second generation, biogenic waste, utilisation of CO2 from biogenic and fossil sources and direct air capture or mechanical and chemical recycling?

Marilia Foukaraki: Since virgin carbon will always need to enter the materials circle (due to inevitable losses) we highly believe in bio-based solutions. Sugar beets are fantastic highly efficient plants with low land use that provide a multitude of products; because of this highly efficient system we believe both in first and second generation biomass. At the same time, we acknowledge and support the fact that all other sources of renewable carbon are equally important. In general, we notice the same attitude from our customers too.  

Michael Carus (nova-Institute)
Michael Carus (nova-Institute) © nova-Institute

Michael Carus: What would be the most important measures and policy instruments to accelerate the transformation from fossil to renewable carbon?

Marilia Foukaraki: There are currently great steps being made to enable this transformation. Improvement on the methodologies of environmental performance and coherent and consistent legislation on renewable carbon can certainly help. This will assist the industry to take justified decisions reflecting long term strategies. At the same time, it is important to help consumers in their efforts to buy more sustainable and renewable products by simplifying the marketing narrative.  

Michael Carus: Thank you so much for the interview.

Meet Marilia Foukaraki from Cosun Beet Company (NL) at the Renewable Materials Conference 10 – 12 May 2022, Cologne, Germany (hybrid event) and look forward to her presentation together with Math Lambalk (Avantium, NL) “From Cosun Beets to Ray Glycols: the Road to Commercialisation” on the 2nd day!

More information:


nova-Institute, press release, 2022-05-10.


Cosun Beet Company
nova-Institut GmbH


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