Our latest Energy Superhero, Florian Graichen, is the General Manager in charge of forestry and bio-based products at Scion, a New Zealand Crown Research Agency. With a strong background in chemical engineering and a hands-on role in Scion’s biocomposites program, Florian helps steer the agency towards innovative and sustainable bio-based solutions. Through collaboration, innovation, and a deep-seated commitment to sustainability, both Scion and Florian are championing the path to a greener, more prosperous future.
In this episode, Florian discusses Scion’s growth over the past decade and emphasizes the agency’s important role in the bioeconomy:
As one of the seven New Zealand Crown Research Agencies, Scion is not just grounded in the forestry sector but has expanded to various biomaterials, biomass, and budding bioeconomies. Scion’s work spans a diverse range of materials — from lignocellulosic biomass, a foundational biomass product, to bioplastics derived from forestry remnants. These bioplastics hold promise, with applications varying from daily packaging to intricate automotive components.
The bioeconomy isn’t about cherry-picking certain elements; it’s about utilizing every fragment of the food chain. It’s akin to employing the “whole buffalo” concept, ensuring minimal wastage and maximal utility.
The core of the circular economy revolves around the prolonged utilization of materials with the aim of curbing waste. Scion is making great strides in this area, particularly through their development of a circular model tailored for the New Zealand forestry sector.