Bioplastics and bio-based materials and packaging are key building blocks of bioeconomics, and are crucial when it comes to moving our economy towards bio-based material resources. They are also a focal point of ifeu’s research. Bioplastics are manufactured from polymers, which consist substantially or exclusively of regrowable resources (in particular cellulose and lignin, starch from maize, wheat and potatoes, sugar from sugar beet or sugar cane, oils from rapeseed, sunflower and soya, or from exotic oil plants such as oil palms and coconut palms), and which can be obtained from a diverse range of synthesis pathways. Bio-based composites are also innovative future materials.
In recent years, there has been interest in the development of packaging solutions using bio-based plastics. Despite the currently low market share, it can be assumed that they will gradually replace conventional petrochemical plastics in future. For many years, ifeu has been involved in studying the environmental impact and sustainability aspects of both established and innovative procedures, taking account of the wide variety of biomass raw materials. This work includes virtually all available sources of raw materials – wood, agricultural biomass and residual products – and a wide range of product applications.


Andreas Detzel

Dipl. Biology
Scientific and Managing Director
+49 (0)6221 4767 0

Martina Krüger

Dipl. Geoökologin (graduate in geoecology)
+49 (0)6221 4767 70

Benedikt Kauertz

Dipl. Ing. Spatial and Environmental Planning
Scientific Director
+49 (0)6221 4767 57



Value added materials from organic waste sugars

Sugar is one of the most essential raw materials for industrial bioprocessing supply chains. The VAMOS project aims to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of producing sugar derived from household…


The SinFonia project tries to produce organic fluorine compounds by biosynthesis. This could replace the previous environmentally harmful chemical methods used to produce the substances.

(Bulk) purchase of bio-based plastic products in the public and entrepreneurial sectors – criteria, selection, incentives

The project explores the potential to implement the instrument of ‘sustainable and innovative procurement’ for bio-based plastics, or to enable implementation to facilitate market launch.


COSMOS aims at reducing the dependence on imported coconut and palm kernel oils and fatty acids and on castor oil as sources for medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA, C10–C14) and medium-chain polymer…


The project, coordinated by the University of Catania, focused on the Mediterranean region where marginal lands are usually characterised by poor water availability.

Study of the environmental impacts of packagings made of biodegradable plastics

The 5th revision of the German Packaging Ordinance introduced special provisions for biodegradable plastic packagings, which are bound to expire on December 31, 2012. It is the intention of this…

Environmental Innovation Policy - Greater ressource efficiency and climate protection through the sustainable material use of biomass

Bio-based products often have both environmental advantages and disadvantages, and as such show many similarities to the use of biomass for energy. This has been profoundly analysed by a study for the…

Wissenschaftliche Studie


The project focused on the production of a wide range of products from non-food biomass feedstocks using an innovative Organosolv technology.