Biowert is a pioneer of the circular economy

Biowert produces a compound of grass fibres and recycled plastic that conserves valuable resources and is also fully recyclable. In the future, the patented technology of our biorefinery could be used wherever grass is available as a raw material.

To prepare for the demands of the future, many companies in the plastics industry are trying to optimise their processes and increase the efficiency of their production. At Biowert, we go one step further: our production was designed as a circular economy from the very beginning.

Biowert processes grass, a renewable resource, first into cellulose and then into AgriPlast, a recyclable material with excellent environmental and technical properties. The remaining organic components of the grass are fed into our biogas plant to generate electricity and heat. The digestate, the fertiliser AgriFer, is then returned to the meadows where next year’s grass is growing. By this process, all components of the grass are used as completely as possible.

The products from the Biowert circular economy replace conventional products with a worse ecological footprint and thus contribute to the conservation of resources. The coat hangers made of AgriPlast, for example, hang in millions in German retail stores and save many tonnes of petroleum-based plastics and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Biowert takes responsibility

After Jens Meyer zu Drewer became managing director in September 2021, we quadrupled the output of our plant. Thanks to a new 500 m2 production hall, we now have a production capacity of 1,000 t per year.

Our long-term goal is to become a leading producer of sustainable plastics. We see our biorefinery as a prototype. In the future, similar “grass factories” could be located almost anywhere in the world – provided there is enough grass in the vicinity of the plant.

Would you like to learn more about Biowert? Feel free to get in touch with us!

Jens Meyer zu Drewer joined Biowert as managing director in September 2021.

Dr Michael Gass – the founder of Biowert

Michael Gass

Michael Gass has shaped the Biowert company more than anyone else. A chemist by training, he had previously worked in the paper industry, where non-sustainable raw materials are widely used for cost reasons. Concerned about the environmental impact of cellulose production, he developed the idea of extracting the valuable fibres from grass.

But Gass had to do a lot of convincing before the German-Swiss company Biowert could start production in 2007. “We were laughed at a bit in the beginning,” he said later in an interview. “Because we weren’t a research department or a university, people thought what we were doing was nonsense.” Nevertheless, he managed to secure funding for the Biowert Industrie GmbH and set up the first biorefinery on an 18,000 m2 site in Brensbach in the Odenwald region.

The company’s market breakthrough was facilitated by the recognition of key institutions such as the German Association of Engineers (VDI) and the patent offices in the US and China, which considered the Biowert process worthy of protection. Other important milestones included Gass being awarded the prestigious Ernst-Pelz-Prize in 2013 and appointed to the Bavarian Bioeconomy Expert Council.

Even this brief outline of Biowert’s history shows that Michael Gass was a pioneer of the circular economy, working tirelessly to build a socially and environmentally responsible company and leading by example.

Michael Gass passed away on 6 January 2019. We remember him with gratitude and respect and will continue to develop his vision for Biowert.

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