Project Ideas

VB Project Idea BIOCAS100%


BIOCAS100% (BIOmass CAScading to 100%) aims to generate economic, societal and ecological prosperity in rural areas by the optimal valorization of biomass resources. The project has been launched recently in the province of Fryslan (northern part of the Netherlands).

Biomass waste is generally looked upon as a costly residual, due to collection, transport and treatment. In fact biomass is a promising source for innovative biobased products. Application of biomass waste at a local or regional level can result in cost reduction, a rise in local employment, a reduction in the use of fuel and dependency on the import of minerals, conservation of organic matter on a local / regional scale, and more investments.

The degradation of agricultural land because of the decline of organic matter content has long been recognized by farmers. Current solutions for a structural increase in the organic matter content like applying compost are expensive and technically and logistically demanding. In modern agriculture, only a small part of the organic produce is returned to the soil. This has already led to decreasing organic matter contents and loss of biodiversity. Furthermore, a considerable amount of biomass is lost in incineration plants or used for biogas production. It can be foreseen that the competition for biomass will further increase because of demand of biobased industrial initiatives. By taking all the components of biomass into consideration, the project identifies the specific components that can revitalize the soil. The loop is considered to be closed by returning these essential components to the soil, thus preserving soil fertility and biodiversity. The BIOCAS100% project acknowledges the high value of organic matter for the soil.

Biomass consists of several kinds of components such as fibers, minerals and many sorts of hydrocarbons. All these components, in themselves or in combinations, represent an economic value. Proteins for example can be extracted from surplus grass. Building blocks for bioplastics may be produced from waste water sludges and organic household waste. The characteristics of biomass that are described above create opportunities for rural areas that are suffering from population decline. The BIOCAS100% project interconnects a growing number of existing and emerging regional initiatives on the conversion of biomass resources into valuable products. Many rural areas in the North Sea Region have characteristics similar to the province of Fryslan. This INTERREG project will connect several of these rural regions in order to learn from each other, share expertise and experiences, and actually seize the existing opportunities. BIOCAS100% emphasizes the inherent link between the biomass cycle and the regional community. In these areas - characterized by population decline - sufficient biomass and land are available. Rural communities have a lot of soil and agricultural expertise: by promoting biomass initiatives from these regions, the project will strengthen networks between rural areas and create new relationships between them. In this way, the project: (1) will kickstart regional biobased economies that are already existing in an infant form; (2) will contribute to a reduction of waste; and (3) will prevent the degradation of soil and contribute to the 2015 International Year of Soils.


Province of Fryslân


The Netherlands

Wim Haalboom + Cees Meijles


Central Aim

The North Sea Region is the breeding ground for some of the world's most innovative biomass application initiatives. Although very promising, these initiatives are local and rather small scale. In addition, many isolated initiatives are being developed which do not (yet) contribute to the optimal valorization of regional biomass stocks.

BIOCAS100% aims to promote the transition towards a resource efficient economy by supporting these regional initiatives and showcasing at least two pilots. The project will create networks around biomass stocks in these regions and connect several producers of biomass applications. The aim of bringing together different pilot projects around one regional biomass stock is - as discussed above - to optimize valorisation.

Pilots in the province of Fryslan can be:

1. Creating 100% biodegradable bioplastics from biological household waste and wastewater sludge. The produced bioplastics will be used at the Leeuwarden European Capital of Culture 2018 with at least 1 million visitors - and beyond.

2. An incubator for innovative approaches to convert the abundant amounts of low quality biomass - 'harvested' in rural areas - into valuable products such as proteins for animal feed, minerals, fibers and energy. In this way, regional import dependency will be reduced, i.e. proteins can replace soy, tapioca and corn based animal feed; fibers can be used for the production of paper; and the substrate from biogas production can - after being composted or fermented - be used as a source for organic matter, carbon (Biochar) and minerals for agricultural practices.

3. Extraction of cellulose - from toilet paper - in a wastewater treatment plant. Extracted cellulose from water is an effective, cheap and environmental friendly alternative material for - imported - woodchips that are currently being used in asphalt road construction.

4. The development and construction of a biobased composite bridge over the Van Harinxmachannel in Fryslan. Biobased composites are fibre-reinforced materials that are partly or completely made from renewable raw materials. Both the matrix material and the fiber reinforcement can have natural origins. Biocomposite is an interesting alternative construction material of the bridge and an inspiring example for innovation.


Apart from the pilots, the following activities are being considered:

1. A business case generator. A prosperous regional economy requires an economic ecosystem consisting of sufficient size and interconnections. Regional SMEs can - and should - play an important role in a regional biobased economy, but currently lack capacity, means and skills to change their processes. In this part of the project, SMEs are being made aware of the potential of biomass applications an supported in developing business cases. The basis for the business case generator will be the value chain including its weakest links. The understanding of these weakest links (lack of knowledge, network, funds) will further increase possibilities to lead to profitable results.

2. Creating awareness and demand for biomass applications: The ultimate success of a biobased economy depends on public acceptance and demand for these products. This is a long-term process. However, the project intends to inspire a broad groups of stakeholders.

Envisaged Output
  • Number of green product, services and processes piloted and / or adopted by the project: 4
  • Number of enteprises receiving support: 10
  • Number of enterprises participating in cross-border, transnational or interregional research projects: 10
  • Number of research institutions participating in cross-border, transnational or interregional research projects: 4
  • Number of organisation / enterprises adopting new solutions by project end: 200
  • Number of organisations / enterprises informed about new solutions by project end: 1.000

Partners Found Already
  • Companies facilitating the bioplastics pilot
  • Leeuwarden European Capital of Culture 2018

Partners Sought

Partners in the NSR aiming to close the biomass cycle loop:

  • Supply side of biomass
  • Demand side (biomass products)
  • Biomass recycling
  • Knowledge institutes
  • Public authorities as "launching governments"
  • NGO's
  • Financial institutions (financing upscaling)
  • Companies interested in pilots implementation
  • Aarhus as European Capital of Culture 2017 as a demonstrator of bioplastics products (as we want to do with Leeuwarden / Fryslan European Capital of Culture 2018)

Estimated Budget
Approximately 6 mln

Thematic Keywords
Promoting green economic activity, Sustainable resource use, Pilots, Locally sourced materials, Recycling.

Lead Beneficiary

19 March 2015

Event Calendar
Events Archive

09 July 2015
06 July 2015
30 June 2015
18 May 2015
21 April 2015