The 2014 Hannover Messe was held from 7th to 11th April and 5,000 exhibitors from over 100 countries attracted around 180,000 visitors. The joint bioeconomy showcase "View on Biobased Economy - Bioeconomy" organized by BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH was once again present this year at the IndustrialGreenTec trade show, which provided insights into current bioeconomy research as well as visionary insights into the bioeconomy as it could be in 2030.
The bioeconomy showcase run by BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg with six other exhibitors had a successful trade fair. Hall 6, which for the past three years has always featured industrial environmental technologies, was well attended by experts and end consumers. The joint booth organized by BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg, once again focused on renewable resources and their potential application now and in 2030. Four dioramas nicely illustrated exhibitors’ themes and presented innovative impulses for potential future applications.
One of the booth’s major themes was biobased plastics, ranging from the alternative production of polylactic acid (PLD) from acid whey to the application of this biomaterial in 3D printers. Other exhibits showed that bioplastics can also be used successfully in the automotive sector, both for car interiors and exteriors, as well as for façade coverings and even entire bicycles. Flax fibre-reinforced skis and the “green” printed circuit board for electronic components nicely demonstrated the potential use of natural fibres and their composites. The exhibition also showcased an innovative photobioreactor with an internal illumination system that can be used for cultivating microalgae on an industrially relevant scale, and a test system for determining the biogas potential of organic substances.
“The bioeconomy is based on renewable resources and uses plants, plant residues and biological waste for industrial processes and value creation,” explains Dr. Ralf Kindervater, CEO of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg. “If one day the bioeconomy becomes a reality, raw material pathways, substance cycles, value creation chains, the energy, waste and other key industries such as the chemical industry will all change beyond recognition.”
The trade show was also visited by guests from the world of politics. EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger was visibly impressed by the dioramas that presented everyday situations in the bioeconomy of 2030. Janez Potočnik, EU Commissioner for the Environment, loved the idea of a closed circle economy of biobased plastics that will not be thrown away, but recycled in small production plants.
The Biobased Fabrication Network (BioFabNet) of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg and its partners, the University of Stuttgart’s Institute of Polymer Technology (IKT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Engineering and Automation (IPA), is aimed at developing four new (partially) biobased plastics for 3D printing using fused deposition modelling. These materials will then be tested by a community of amateur and professional users of personal 3D printers and further optimized.
All material testers that have been involved in the project so far were invited to meet the BioFabNet project partners at Hannover Messe and to examine in detail the first innovative polymer filament. The joint booth therefore attracted a large number of BioFabNet supporters, but it also drew in experts from the plastics industry, who were seriously impressed by the properties of the new filament.
BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH once again managed to bring a broad range of different actors from the fields of research and research funding together at the IndustrialGreenTec trade show, the world’s leading trade show for environmental technologies: the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR), the Jülich Project Management Organisation (PTJ), DECHEMA – Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, BIO Deutschland e.V., and the BioIndustrie2021 clusters BIOKATALYSE2012 coordinated by TuTech Innovation GmbH (Hamburg) and the Frankfurt Cluster for Integrated Bioindustry (CIB) of Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH (Wiesbaden).