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NNFCC News Review: Feedstock Issue 72, March 2018

Category: feedstocks
Published: 15/03/2018
Author: NNFCC
Each month we review the latest news and select key announcements and commentary from across the Feedstock sector.


We’ll start with an exciting breakthrough in the processing of biomass. One of the primary hurdles to maximising useful biomass yield of plants is the lignin found in plant cell walls. Lignin is very hard to break down, making cellulose extraction difficult. Many approaches have been employed to tackle this problem, including chemical or biological breakdown of the lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose complex itself, or genetically engineering plants to produce less lignin. Both of these have their downsides: the complex with lignin is very difficult to breakdown chemically, and no organisms have been found capable of doing it on a commercial scale; growing plants that produce less lignin also has potential negative impacts, for example on disease resistance and reduced biomass yield in some cases. However, there has been a very promising recent breakthrough...

Other News this Month Includes:


  • EU to mandate separate collection of bio-waste
  • Service launched to track American timber sustainability certification
  • US EPA seeks environmental agreement with Forestry Industry​


  • Vivergo shutdown hits UK wheat milling
  • UK rapeseed prices influenced by strengthening euro
  • Pellet shortage in Scotland
  • Croda acquires Plant Impact​

Research & Development

  • Scientists increase sugar yield and reduce lignin content of plants
  • Project aims to produce biomethane from solid biomass
  • WRAP releases guidance on digestate spreading
  • Early results of report into European biomass
  • France to get lignocellulose conversion demo plant​

Wood & Crop

  • Mild winter and sudden freeze could hurt wheat yield
  • Working to reduce waste wood contamination
  • Bridgestone partnership aims to commercialise guayule rubber
  • Enviva acquires Carolina pellet plant

Other Feedstocks

  • Sappi completes paper business acquisition


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