Why go bio-based? (part of ‘Transitioning to Bio-based Chemicals’ session - Hosted by BioVale)


Dr. Mark GronnowProcess Development Unit Manager - Biorenewables Development Centre (BCD)

Time & Location

Wednesday: 10.00 to 11.00, Stage 1

About this presentation

The Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC), established in 2012, is a not-for-profit company which provides industry with expertise, services and open-access facilities to develop new processes to convert plants, microbes and biowastes into high-value biorenewable products.  The primary goal of the centre is to develop, integrate, demonstrate and prove novel technologies at a commercially-interesting scale.

The BDC team offers a unique combination of multidisciplinary expertise across the areas of biology, chemistry and chemical engineering and state-of-the-art pilot-scale processing capabilities with a focus on fast-track plant breeding, raw materials characterisation, pre-processing, processing, downstream processing and product evaluation. This combination is at the core of our approach allowing us to catalyse green innovations and has culminated in over 500 projects, across the bio-based supply chain, completed for SME to global multinational clients.

This presentation will provide a series of case studies with successes (and failures) from the field including drop-in replacements to current products which have been developed from biomass and wastes, the benefits of combining bio-processing with chemical processing and new products not currently produced by conventional means.

About this session

As the world faces up to the challenges posed by finite resources and carbon emissions, a shift to the bio-based chemicals provides one solution; switching from fossil fuel feedstocks and transitioning to an economy which uses renewable, biological ‘bio-based’ resources.

Yorkshire and the Humber’s innovation cluster, BioVale, promotes this new, bio-based economy and helps enterprises profit from its high-growth, future-proofed business opportunities. As host to this session they have brought together speakers who represent both academia and industry to explore the current capabilities, successes, opportunities and challenges of transitioning to bio-based chemicals.

Featured Themes & Speakers:

Why go bio-based?
Speaker: Dr Mark Gronnow, Process Development Unit Manager, Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC)

Industrial Biotechnology opportunities to meet the chemical supply chain demands as part of the drive to Netzero by 2050
Speaker: Lynsey Dunbar, Senior Business Engagement Manager – IBioC

Introducing CyreneTM at scale – the sustainable, safe, bio-based solvent that outperforms NMP and other SVHC solvents
Speaker: Dr Sarah Hickingbottom, General Manager new product development, Circa Group

‘Bio-based and sustainability trends in the cosmetics sector’
Speaker: Kirsty Mawhinney, Director Cosmetics Cluster UK

Q&A round-up discussion to close this session

Session Host:  Caroline Wilcock – BioVale Cluster Stakeholder Engagement Manager – Biorenewables Development Centre (York)

Speaker Bio:

Mark is currently leader of the Process Development Unit at the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) in York.  The centre has been set up to bridge the gap between industry and academia by supporting SMEs, promoting the bioeconomy and demonstrating new technologies.  He specialises in innovation support through technology transfer – problem solving, winning public funding and proof of concept through to prototype development in the bioeconomy, waste valorisation and chemistry sectors.

He completed his first degree and PhD in Chemistry at the University of York.  Between 2005 and 2010, he was technical manager for YorkTest Laboratories an SME in-vitro diagnostic laboratory.  In 2010, he re-joined the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence as a technical manager responsible for delivery of the Carbon Trust Pyrolysis Challenge project.  This role evolved into technical operations manager for the GCCE, managing multiple projects and industrial engagements before setting up the BDC.  Mark is a Chartered Chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and currently sits on the Royal Society of Chemistry Industry and Technology Division Council.