Welcome to the second RoadToBio newsletter

First project report describes a desk study of the opportunities for the chemical industry to introduce more bio-based chemicals into existing value chains

Dear Reader,
Welcome to the second RoadToBio newsletter. Let me start by wishing you all the best for the new year. We hope 2018 will be a year full of opportunities for the chemical industry to produce more bio-based products!

In this newsletter, we want to present our first project report, describing a desk study of the opportunities for the chemical industry to introduce more bio-based chemicals into existing value chains. Enjoy reading it and feel free to send us your feedback!

Tijs Lammens
BTG Biomass Technology Group B.V.
On behalf of the RoadToBio consortium

Please consider – if not done already – to subscribe to the RoadToBio newsletter. ­


Report D1.1 summary:

Bio-based opportunities for the chemical industry, “where bio-based chemicals meet existing value chains in Europe”

In the first RoadToBio report, we describe the results of a desk study of the following:

  • An overview of bio-based chemicals that are commercially available or close to commercialization
  • A mapping of existing chemical markets and petrochemical value chains
  • An analysis of the interface between existing petrochemical value chains and bio-based chemicals

The study started with the creation of a database of more than 400 bio-based chemicals, from which 120 bio-based chemicals were selected that are at demonstration or commercial scale (TRL ≥ 6) and show potential for the chemical industry in terms of market value.

Then, for nine product groups the existing (petrochemical) value chains in the chemical industry were mapped, that together cover a significant part of the chemical industry.

These product groups were the following:

  • nine_product_groupsAdhesives
  • Agrochemicals
  • Cosmetics
  • Lubricants
  • Man-made fibres
  • Paints / Coatings / Dyes
  • Plastics / Polymers
  • Solvents
  • Surfactants.


For each of the nine product groups a range of different specific products was identified, and for each product the petrochemical value chain was mapped back to basic building blocks such as ethylene, propylene, benzene, etc. Each petrochemical in each value chain of each product group was then compared to each bio-based chemical on our long-list, to see where they match. Wherever a bio-based chemical and a petrochemical match, we called that an ‘entry point’. ­
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BB15_per_cent_tijsIn total, more than 500 petrochemical value chains were analysed, which showed more than 1,000 entry points for bio-based chemicals. For 85 % of the existing petrochemicals, at least one bio-based route was found that is available at either demonstration or commercial scale.

This study provides the knowledge base for the subsequent activities in the project, notably an assessment of the barriers as well as the most promising opportunities, and nine specific business case studies, which will be incorporated into the final roadmap.

More specifically, the next step will be to rank the identified matching chemicals with regard to market volumes, implementation feasibility and growth potential.

Want to take a closer look? Download the updated full report D1.1 here. ­
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Upcoming event

We want to invite you to participate in our first webinar on 7th February at 2 pm CET.

This webinar presents first key findings of the BBI project “RoadToBio”, mapping out a plethora of potential entry points for bio-based products in different chemical value chains. Depending on value chains and entry points, the differentiation between “drop-ins”, “smart drop-ins” and “dedicated chemicals” can be helpful to discuss the most promising opportunities.

RoadToBio’s focus on globally competitive bio-based chemicals will help shape the future of Europe’s chemicals industry and help to secure jobs in Europe’s rural and less developed regions.

Participation in this webinar is free of charge. Please register here ­
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Join the network

We would like to invite you to join us on the journey to a more bio-based chemical industry. The roadmap should contain clear, realistic goals. With your knowledge, it is possible to create a strong roadmap with a high impact. Therefore, we will conduct workshops and webinars to involve you as stakeholder.

Your opinion is of utmost importance to us. Through your participation, you get the opportunity to help shape the development process and to find your opinion later in the roadmap.



What you can expect from the next newsletter

In the next newsletter we would like to present more initial results of the project, this time with a view on the attitudes and concerns of consumers with regard to bio-based products. ­
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Introduction of the RoadToBio Team

The consortium of this two-year project, which started in May 2017, consists of four members:

They bring in complementary expertise in relevant fields of the bioeconomy and chemical industry, covering in depth all aspects that need to be included in the roadmap. ­


This project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 745623.


RoadToBio newsletter January 2018, 2018-01.


Bio-based Industries (BBI) Joint Undertaking
Biomass Technology Group BV (BTG)
DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.
nova-Institut GmbH