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Analysis of biomass supply chain in Scotland – opportunities for biorefining (executive summary)


This is a series of studies looking at opportunities in the Industrial Biotech (IB) sector in support of delivering the IB sector plan. This report summarises a number of existing biorefining operations across various countries as well as research projects and emerging technologies focusing on pre-treatment and improved process design. It considers the applicability of these to Scotland and the potential opportunities for biofrefining in Scotland.


The study method was not specified.


The report describes the operations of a number of existing wood-based biorefineries in Europe, noting that they are typically located in Scandinavian countries. It also highlights some examples of operations outside Europe, including Canada and the US. The report notes that these tend to be operating at a scale that is unlikely to be applicable in Scotland. A number of interesting research projects and emerging technologies focusing on pre-treatment and improved process design that offer smaller scale alternatives are also outlined. Although many of these are still at a technical feasibility stage, there are some examples of pilot plants being operational. It is suggested that the scale of these is potentially more applicable to Scotland and that opportunities may be present to establish pilot projects at sites where there is a concentration of arisings. This could include at sawmills, waste wood processing facilities (to address post-consumer MDF) and mobile units at harvesting locations. The report notes that there are various potential sources of wood fibre arising in Scotland that could potentially be used as inputs to a biorefining process.


No recommendations were made.

Author Optimat
Published Year 2016
Report Type Research
  • Sectors
    Chemical sciences
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support