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ILVO Press Release - Friday, December 22, 2017

A value chain for maize straw in the bio-economy: why Flanders can’t (yet) do what Canada can

In Flanders, a potential 120,000 tons of maize straw could be removed from the field as raw material for the bio-economy. But who is going to organize it? And is that even possible? According to ILVO-Ghent University doctoral researcher Anouk Mertens, a value chain for Flemish maize straw is indeed feasible, in spite of the unstable supply. But it will call for focus, flexibility, organization and targeted funding. Flanders can look to Canada for inspiration for a value chain based on Flemish maize straw. Canadians successfully produce sugars from maize and wheat straw.

On 18 December 2017, Anouk Mertens defended her doctoral thesis on “Challenges for local maize value chains in the biobased economy”. Promotors are Prof. dr. ir. Jeroen Buysse of Ghent University (UGent), Prof. Dr. ir. Ludwig Lauwers of UGent and ILVO, and Dr. ir. Jef Van Meensel of ILVO.


Greet Riebbels, ILVO Communicatie:, 32 486 26 00 14
Anouk Mertens, PhD:, 32 9 272 23 68
Jef Van Meensel, promotor:, 32 9 272 23 59