Part 7

Tank, Trough or Plate?

Renewable raw materials are of plant or animal origin. They are not finite, but rather grow steadily and hence offer an alternative to fossil fuels like lignite and natural gas. Renewable materials can be used in lacquers, plastics, binding agents, lubricants, cosmetics, construction, insulation and much more. They are also used for energy generation as biogas or biofuel. In this case, “bio” does not refer to organic production, but rather to the plant-based origin of the raw material.

Renewable materials are generated by forestry and agriculture, for example from corn, miscanthus, sunchoke, hemp, oil plants, algae and residues of animal husbandry. These plants partially deliver foodstuffs. Hence, it is important to minimize the competition between their customary use as food/forage and their use as energy carriers.

The plant species and mixtures seen here are examples of research projects. The University of Kassel tests them for their suitability for energy generation.