A current challenge is the transition from a fossil-based economy to a bioeconomy in which fossil raw materials are successively substituted by biobased raw materials. These include specific carbohydrates, e.g. from cereals and sugar beet, special fatty acids from oil plants such as rapeseed, sunflower and linseed, but also fibres from linseed or nettle as well as active ingredients from medicinal and spice plants. Their uses are diverse and include biopolymers, construction and insulation materials, fibre composites, growing media (e.g. as peat substitutes) and valuable raw materials for human and animal health.
The aim of the JKI's research is the sustainable production and efficient, cycle-oriented use of biogenic raw materials while preserving soil fertility, protecting the environment (especially water and air quality) and maintaining or increasing biodiversity.
The crops are analysed with regard to the type and content of quality-determining ingredients, active ingredient yield, energy content, their ability to be integrated into sustainable cultivation systems and the possibilities of environmentally sound plant protection.
This is particularly true for species that are not cultivated or only cultivated to a small extent and their integration into existing crop rotations. Cascade utilisation or new utilisation options for residual materials or co-products are also being examined.