What is biorefining?

Biorefining takes organic material e.g. plants and uses a series of mechanical, biological and chemical processes to convert the biomass into a broad range of commercially important products including pharmaceuticals, transport fuels, energy sources and chemicals.

The aim of BEACON

The main aim of BEACON is to use the concept of biorefining to work with end user companies, in order to identify a wide range of products from plant material which are tailored to their requirements. The biorefinery concept uses non-food crop feedstocks in much the same way that oil refineries use crude oil to produce a broad spectrum of commodity products. It seeks to give manufacturing companies a commercial advantage in the marketing of these renewable products as well in the future environmental and economic sustainability of their businesses through application of these developing technologies.

The benefits of biorefining

  • Some of the industrial chemicals produced from oil can be replaced with similar molecules from plants that could supply potentially lucrative markets within easy reach of Welsh producers
  • Turning crops such as rye grass, miscanthus, oats and artichokes into valuable fuels and chemicals would cut back on greenhouse gases and would increase fuel and chemical security whilst adding value to the Welsh economy.
  • Chemicals derived from plants have uses in a range of sectors, including transport, food, health, hygiene and the environment.
  •  New materials such as bio-composites and bio-plastics can be developed
  • As well as creating and safeguarding jobs in West Wales and the Valleys, the pioneering work will help develop science in Wales.

Sustainability is a key corporate responsibility for businesses seeking to develop and grow - BEACON can help you meet your environmental obligations and your commercial objectives.