The BeonNAT project proposes to use marginal lands in Europe (estimated 4.3 M km2 and 0.4M km2 of agricultural and forest marginal in EU-28, respectively) to obtain forest biomass for the production of 8 products based on new bio-based value chains: essential oils, extracts, wood paper, particleboard, bioplastics, biochar, active carbon and absorbents. This way, BeonNAT will allow for the production of biodegradable bio-based products and bioactive compounds that will play an important role to replace fossil-based competing substitute products.
The plantation of tree and shrub species in marginal lands in BeonNAT, following intercropping techniques, will contribute to the biodiversity protection while improving soil fertility and organic carbon stocks. Ecological and economical restoration of marginal lands and avoiding competence between food agriculture and industrial forestry have been considered as main issues to select these lands for the cultivation of new and underutilized tree and shrub species in BeonNAT.
A feasibility study of the obtaining of BeonNAT bio-based products following a biorefinery concept will be also assessed during the project implementation. Any by-product generated along the production cycle will be valorised following a cascade exploitation approach to maximize resource use efficiency.
NNFCC is involved in four work packages on the BeonNAT project, including two relating to bio-based product development. This includes WP5, where NNFCC will be involved in Tasks 5.5 and 5.6, evaluating the commercialisation of biochar and active carbon, respectively. Also, NNFCC is involved in Task 7.7, based on the final product requirements for bringing particleboard fabrication from biomass to market.
NNFCC is heavily involved in the commercialisation and business model development side of the project. Work Package 8 is based on market biodiversity and value chain suitability assessments, of which the NNFCC leads Task 8.4, - the market and landscape analysis task. A market analysis will be performed by NNFCC which will involve literature reviews and interviews with companies relating to the bio-based products and biomolecules examined in WP3 -7. A value chain assessment will also be performed by NNFCC in Task 8.8 and a report will be produced by NNFCC on current forestry biorefinery opportunities in Europe. Lastly, task 9.2 in WP9 will be led by NNFCC, and involves developing a business model using the results of the market and landscape analysis. Workshops will be held to bring together representatives of the entire value chain for multiple perspectives to be analysed, and the scalability of the value chains will be investigated. For each market segment, a value proposition will be designed and be summarised via a business model canvas which will inform development of exploitation plans in further tasks within the work package.