Centre for Circular Bioeconomy

DREAMING OF A BIO-BASED SOCIETY

There is an urgent need to find solutions that can enable the world’s population to ensure sustainable management of biological and organic resources. The goal of a new interdisciplinary centre is to generate a knowledge base for a new bioeconomy and to demonstrate the commercial perspectives in using biomass to produce energy, food, animal feed and expensive chemicals.

In 2017, The Aarhus University Centre for Circular Bioeconomy opened at Aarhus University with some of the world’s leading researchers within biology, agricultural sciences, food science and engineering.

Together, they will now be realising the dream of a bio-based society in which all of nature’s resources are reused - carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus.

Value back to the ecosystem
It all starts in the field, where the challenge is to produce as much biomass as possible in a sustainable manner. Apart from this, the researchers’ main challenges are primarily within engineering science. How do you convert biomass into high-value products? How can you transform a worthless residue into something that returns value to the ecosystem?

“We’ve been working for several years on a number of very promising refining technologies, and we’re now in the process of their further development, with focus on full recycling. We want to convert biomass into completely new molecules that can be combined in different ways: for example to become plastic polymers,” says Associate Professor Lars Ditlev Mørck Ottosen.

Science at full scale
Together with his research team, Associate Professor Ottosen will generate knowledge to make it possible to transform agricultural waste into everything from clothes to proteins. And this won’t just be petty projects in laboratories. The researchers want to build technology on a scale that can demonstrate its commercial potential in the real word.

“We’re one of the few universities in the world that can create new knowledge at the same time as we’re testing technology at full scale. This gives us a huge advantage in terms of innovation, and it’ll benefit Danish businesses and the international community. Just think of the perspectives in making milk production sustainable throughout the entire cycle, or in using parts of fresh grass as nutritious protein feed for livestock to replace tropical soya,” says Lars Ditlev Mørck Ottosen.

The centre is working closely with major Danish and international companies such as DLG, Arla Foods and The Boeing Company.

FACTS

The Aarhus University Centre for Circular Bioeconomy, CBIO, is led by Senior Researcher Uffe Jørgensen, Department of Agroecology.

The multidisciplinary work at the centre involves the participation of the following departments and centres at Aarhus University:

  • Department of Agroecology
  • Department of Bioscience
  • Department of Food Science
  • Department of Animal Science
  • Department of Engineering
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Department of Environmental Science
  • Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture
  • Danish Centre for Environment and Energy

Contact