The German economy is undergoing a period of upheaval. The automotive industry is
investing billions in developing new powertrain technologies and mobility services, while
manufacturing industries and mechanical engineering are becoming greener and more
sustainable. Following the phase-out of nuclear power, by 2038 brown coal will no longer be used
for electricity generation and priority is being given to developing renewable energy sources.
And importantly, digitalization is making its way into almost all areas of our lives. And as if all of this weren’t exciting enough, 2020 will go down in history as the year of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus is not only putting businesses and jobs at risk, it is also speeding up some development processes.
THE BIOECONOMY IN SAXONY-ANHALTThe bioeconomyin Saxony-Wheat strawin the tankIn Leuna, Global Bioenergies and the FraunhoferCenter for Chemical-Biotechnological Processesare working together to develop innovative fuels.AnhaltMicrobial conversion:Thepilot plant atthe FraunhoferCenter forChemical-BiotechnologicalProcesses(CBP) in Leuna.The responsible use of resourcesis one of the key concerns ofour era. Saxony-Anhalt takes itsresponsibility in this area veryseriously. More than half of theelectricity generated in the statealready comes from renewablesources. Saxony-Anhalt is atraditional location for the food,chemical, timber and agricultureindustries and the companieshere, which are familiar withnatural cycles, are setting newstandards for the bioeconomy.invest-in-saxony-anhalt.comClimate change and mobility are closelylinked, which is why we must significantlyreduce our use of fossil fuels in the medium term.We need alternative, climate-friendly solutions totake us into the future. Straw, wood and microalgaeall have the potential to replace crude oil asraw materials for the chemical industry.Companies at the Chemical Park Leuna areinvestigating these materials. The Frenchcompany Global Bioenergies is working withthe Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-BiotechnologicalProcesses to develop a process to convertrenewable raw materials into isobutene. This isone of the building blocks of the petrochemicalindustry which is normally obtained from crudeoil and can be processed to produce gasoline,aviation fuel and plastics. In a pilot plant thatwas set up in 2015, researchers have successfullyconverted sugar made from wheat strawinto bio-isobutene. The Global Bioenergiesdemonstration plant in Leuna is the only one inthe world that uses a direct microbial conversionprocess to produce gaseous hydrocarbonsfrom renewable raw materials.The carmaker Audi is a partner of Global Bioenergies.Audi is testing the biofuel isooctane,also known as Audi e-gasoline, which is madefrom isobutene, in its engines. Isooctane producesvery low levels of pollutants, because itcontains no sulfur or benzene.2829