European research community brings bio-based economy a step closer

AERTO, a European consortium of research and technological facilities, wants to help realise the transition to a bio-based economy. VITO is one of the projectAERTO, a European consortium of research and technological facilities, wants to help realise the transition to a bio-based economy. VITO is one of the project partners and provides technological insights in the chemical field.

The research network AERTO — short for Associated European Research and Technology Organizations — steers, encourages and supports research initiatives that work towards a sustainable society. Its goal is to increase the European potential for innovation through networking, coordination and sharing expertise. In recent years, programmes on offshore wind energy, energy-efficient construction and valorisation of waste materials have already been completed. 

In 2014, AERTO built a new pillar for the transition to a bio-based economy: AERTO-BBE (Bio-based Economy), for which it recruited VITO as a partner. VITO is developing and providing the chemical expertise: the development of alternative technologies will enable the chemical sector to step away from fossil resources and rely on biomass or renewable resources instead. 

VITO became a member of AERTO for several reasons. First of all, the conglomeration is an excellent framework to develop the newest technological insights and conclude bilateral agreements. Moreover, it also serves as a springboard to valorise VITO's expertise on a European level. VITO brings several of its research projects, which represent a budget of €250,000 every year, to the consortium.
 

VITO's role

Within AERTO-BBE, VITO has taken on a leading role in the isolation and valorisation of lignin and lignocellulose. For both processes, it provides a host of refined techniques: membrane filtration to separate useful materials, but also techno-economic analyses and instruments to chart the efficiency of several value chains, for example, the biorefining of algae. 

AERTO in figures
  • Partner project between VITO and research and technological institutes in six other European countries: FhG, VTT, TNO, SINTEF, Tecnalia Technology Corporation and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden 
  • Together, the seven institutes represent a total of 45,000 experts
  • Duration: June 2014 - June 2016 for the initial project
  •  Budget: €3,000,000 
VITO is developing and providing the chemical expertise: the development of alternative technologies will enable the chemical sector to step away from fossil resources and rely on biomass or renewable resources instead.