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Bio Base Europe: Flanders and the Netherlands Cooperate on Biofuels From Genetically Modified Poplars


3/15/2010 8:46:52 AM

AMSTERDAM, March 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Bio Base Europe is making progress in the development of sustainable biofuels. The recent first crop of genetically modified poplars of the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) will be modified into bioethanol in a Flemish-Dutch pilot installation.

Bio Base Europe, a joint initiative of Biopark Terneuzen and Ghent Bio-Energy Valley, is a successful collaboration between The Netherlands and Flanders. Bio Base Europe is taking the lead in the development of a sustainable biobased economy in Europe.

Bio Base Europe consists of a pilot plant in Ghent for biobased products and processes on the one hand, and a training center for bio-process operators in Terneuzen on the other hand. Bio Base Europe represents a joint investment of 21 Million Euro and is unique in Europe. It was recently awarded with the European "Sail of Papenburg" cross border award.

The first crop of poplars for second generation bio-ethanol production has now been harvested!

In the pilot plant, scientists develop industrial processes to convert agricultural co-products such as wheat straw, corn cobs and wood into so-called second generation biofuels, bioplastics and other biobased products. For that, Bio Base Europe collaborates with the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), renowned for its green biotechnology expertise. Prof. Wout Boerjan has developed genetically modified poplars that produce less lignin, facilitating their conversion into bioethanol. On May 6th, 2009 these poplars were planted for the first time in an open air field trial in Ghent. The first crop of this field trial has now been harvested and will be converted into bioethanol at the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. This draws us yet another step closer to the realization of second generation biofuels.

Prof. Wim Soetaert, Director of the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant: "I am very happy with this new development on the long road towards second generation biofuels. It is not coincidentally the result of a Flemish-Dutch collaboration."

Or meet Prof. Wim Soetaert on Europa's largest Biofuels Congres in Amsterdam (http://www.worldbiofuelsmarkets.com/) on Monday 15 March at 2pm in the press room of the RAI Convention Centre, Europaplein 22, NL - 1078 GZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

A free press pass can be obtained with Mrs Laura Brownie, laura.brownie@greenpowerconferences.com

CONTACT: For more information, please contact: Bio Base Europe, Prof. Wim
Soetaert, +32-474-51-47-91, wim.soetaert@bbepp.eu; VIB Communicatie, Rene
Custers, +32-474-52-13-40, rene.custers@vib.be



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