Revitalisation of Agricultural Biomass for an Industrial Bio-economy, Case Studies on South Africa and Netherlands Bio-economy

  • Marie Blanche Ting
  • Jim Philp
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


Re-industrialisation of agricultural biomass holds much promise in sectors which have reached maturity. Advancement towards functionalization of biomass for the production multiple products as part of an industrial bio-economy is gaining traction. This chapter discusses the potential of revitalizing, South Africa’s mature sugar industry using green chemistry, for potential production of platform chemicals. Platform chemicals are precursors for making diverse products, which includes chemicals, materials, polymers and fuels. In an effort to build an industrial bio-economy, South Africa has made these intentions clear through its National Bio-economy strategy published in 2014. However, to do so requires, a fundamental enabling support in knowledge infrastructure, intra-regional linkages and industry, human capital development particularly interdisciplinary skills in chemistry and engineering. Such ambitions do not have to start anew, as noted in this chapter, Netherlands could provide a key partner. Netherlands has ample science cluster and biotechnology parks, strong knowledge generation in biocatalysis, bioprocessing, and has access to biorefinery facilities. We are argued that collaboration of both countries could provide a catalyst effect in realizing a truly functional industrial bio-economy within its economy and neighbouring regions.


Industrial bio-economy Platform chemicals Biomass Commodity chemicals Agriculture Green chemistry 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU)University of SussexBrightonUK
  2. 2.OECDParisFrance

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