Agricultural refineries

Agricultural refineries


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A bridge from farm to industry
Agricultural and fisheries research



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Commission of the European Communities
Agricultural refineries —
A bridge from farm to industry
EUR 11583 EN Commission of the European Communities
Agricultural refineries —
A bridge from farm to industry
Edited by
L. Munck and F. Rexen
Department of Biotechnology
Carlsberg Research Centre
Copenhagen, Denmark
Sponsored by the
Commission of the European Communities
Directorate-General 'Agriculture'
Coordination of Agricultural Research
1990 EUR 11583 EN Published by the
Telecommunications, Information Industries and Innovation
Scientific and Technical Communication Unit
L-2920 Luxembourg
Proceedings based on a workshop held on the Island of Bornholm, Denmark,
from 16 to 18 September 1987
Neither the Commission of the European Communities nor any person acting
on behalf of then is responsible for the use which might be made
of the following information
Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1990
ISBN 92-826-1943-5
Catalogue number: CD-NA-11583-EN-C
© ECSC-EEC-EAEC, Brussels, Luxembourg, 1990
Printed In France PREFACE
As a follow up on the EC report in 1984 (EUR 9617), Cereal Crops for Industrial Use
in Europe, and as a prelude to the ECLAIR development programme announced by
EC in 1988, this workshop on agricultural refineries was held at the beautiful island of
Bornholm in order to stimulate further cooperation in development between
agriculture and industry in the EC.
The workshop was sponsored by the Commission, Directorates VI and XII. We are
most indebted to Drs. D. Thomson (Expert - DG VI), K. Sargeant ( DG XII) and
P.Gray (DG III) for their kind interest and contributions.
The enthusiastic support of the pioneers of the local biorefinery at Bornholm, also
including the local government as represented by Mr. J. Brandt, County Mayor,
Bornholm, Mr N.A. Kofoed, farmer, Bornholm, ex-Minister of Agriculture, Denmark,
and Mr. Chr. Kjøller, Trade Council of, is gratefully acknowledged.
Mrs. K. Kirkegaard, Carlsberg Research Center, organized the practical arrangements
together with the staff at Hotel Fredenborg and she also assisted in the editorial work
of these proceedings, all contributions of whom are much appreciated.
L. Munck and F. Rexen CONTENTS
From biotechnology to agriculture - From biorefineries to
agri-industry - An outline of options for cooperation
L. Munck '
Agricultural raw materials for industrial use
P.S. Gray 30
Agricultural refineries: A bridge between agriculture
and industry
T.J. Palmer 4
Oilseed crops: Present situation and future developments
for oleochemical application
F. Hirsinger9
Present and future possibilities of utilizing starch and
starch products in non-food areas
W. Kempf 57
The use of cellulose and starch as potential polymers for
industrial applications
M. Rinaudo 70
Use of lignocellulosic raw materials in industry
P.R. Fields and R.G. Pickles4
Flax production - A favourable alternative
M. Møller 8
Pulp and paper from straw: The Fredericia mill
S. Kaas Hansen 90
A new project in Denmark - The Biorefinery at Bornholm
F. Rexen 10
V Agricultural refineries: Implications for agriculture and
rural development - Northern part of Europe
Th. Herborg Nielsen 108
Aqueous enzymatic extraction of rapeseed oil
H. Sejr Olsen 122
Raw materials for industry: Crops as bio-factories
W. Kleinhanss 13
Storage of whole crop cereals under alkaline conditions
prior to industrial processing
V. C. Mason 141
The nutritive value of botanically defined mill fractions
of barley
K.E. Bach Knudsen and B.O. Eggum 152
Economic assessment of agricultural refineries, farmers'
benefits and the costs of harvest and transport
J. Christensen and L. Andreasen 160
Economic assessment of agricultural refineries - Processing
and industrial price structure
B. Petersen 166
Whole crop harvesting - Possible today, necessary tomorrow
L.-I. Persson 174
A proposed EEC programme for agro-industrial development
K. Sargeant 189
Discussion and conclusions 201
205 List of participants
L. Munck
Carlsberg Research Laboratory
Department of Biotechnology
Gamle Carlsberg Vej 10
DK-2500 Valby, Copenhagen
The past
No more than 100 years ago when the industrial revolution was
developing, Europe had severe problems to feed its populations.
Millions of people emigrated to USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
and to South America to find arable land, and in order to survive, we
in Europe had to import grains and other foods from the transatlantic
continents. The essence of the development in Europe is our succeed­
ing in industrializing the manufacture of agricultural-based food and
semi-manufacture based on our old traditions and way of life. This
is immensely important to our economy because all raw materials
needed for the production of these foods are produced in Europe.
Just look upon the situation now in Africa where this development is
still in its infancy and you will realize the difference. While
foods and local raw materials today in Europe fit together, this
matching is extremely poor in Africa where the African city culture
has taken over our food habits without having the necessary raw
material production due to climatic and ethnographic conditions.
In Europe, we have luckily been able to improve our consumer-
oriented industry parallel to the agriculture-oriented industry which
together with agriculture have boosted the yield to levels exceeding
our greatest expectations.
On the same time, the agriculture market has been the major
stimuli of industrial development besides the defense market. For
example, most European car manufacturers had initially based their
production on the manufacture of tractors for agriculture, which
greatly facilitated the financing of their development into the non-
agricultural area. Stimulated by cheap fossil fuels, the agricul-tural-industrial sector went into a structure of strong specializa­
tion and centralization.
The present (see reviews by Rexen and Munck, 1984; Munck, 1987a)
At the time being, agriculture as such only contributes a few
percentages to the gross national product of the industrialized
countries. Income activities derived indirectly from agriculture,
however, amount to about 30%. A bankrupt agriculture is thus not of
interest to either the consumers or the industry. There is no
surplus in the total agricultural production in Europe but there is a
structural problem. There are in the EC large deficits in the
production of feed protein, in food oil crops and in cellulose
fibers, while we have surpluses in cereal and animal produce which is
hard for the EC to finance (see these Proceedings). Still these
surpluses are not all unreasonably high, keeping in mind that agri­
culture is a seasonal and weather-dependent form of production which
necessitates storage for safety. We have in our EC report (Rexen and
Munck, 1984) calculated with a surplus of 58 million tons of cereal
in the year 2000 or even higher if the present trends prevail.
However, in today's dynamic world there are several other scenarios
which may completely upset such an extrapolation.
In conclusion, we should be satisfied with the achievements of
the past of improving productivity, which in fact is the basis for
the relatively high standard of living in the EC. We only have to
look a few hundred kilometers eastward to see the drawbacks of not
having been able to cope with the agricultural challenge.
On the other hand, our present way of handling agriculture has
evolved from a time when energy was cheap and when the environmental
aspects were given no attention. We shall thus not be content with
our achievements so far but have to take a great leap forward - to
fundamentally change the structure of our system, still, however,
based on our experiences of today and from the past.
One crucial production factor is the energy price. The world
market price on oil is fluctuating while the price of cereals (maize)
is far more constant. The rise of oil price has from 1973 to 1985
been enormous and consequently the relative price maize versus oil
has declined about 8 fold. The present rapid decrease in oil prices
in the spring 1986 has surprisingly changed this price relatively