Bio-based products will play an increasingly important role in the transition from a linear towards a green and circular economy that will reduce fossil-based products consumption in Europe. While the demand of biochemicals in Europe is among the largest in the world, Europe's position in their production from biomass is limited to a few compounds. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundantly available bioresource amounting to up to 1.3 billion tons per year of an excellent low cost feedstock for bio-based products development in different industries (food, cosmetics, packaging, construction…). However, a main challenge in the use of forest biomass is to supply these nascent bio-based markets without affecting traditional bio-based sectors such as the wood and paper while the competence with land use for food production is avoided.

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.

BeonNATt will provide huge economic opportunities for the bio-based economy in Europe, enhancing competitiveness of diverse industries, while creating jobs in depopulated areas, contributing to rural development. BeonNAT will help to mitigate the impacts of climate change, enabling smarter and more sustainable products and materials, to make the most efficient use of our renewable natural resources.‚Äč