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Biomaterials & Biofuels

New Thinking

Growing a biofuelled New Zealand

New Zealand could build a renewable low carbon transport fuels industry - but only if we as a nation get our act together. A new report by bioenergy specialists at Scion looks at how New Zealand could grow and process feedstock crops into liquid biofuels targeted towards the heavy transport, shipping and aviation industries.


Fuelling a greener economy

A report released recently by the Royal Society of New Zealand calls on New Zealanders to take action against rising greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to curb global warming. New Zealand’s emissions are well above average for developed countries, and steadily rising.


Ground-breaking research through global connections

Working together with leading research organisations around the globe helps Scion’s research teams gain access to advanced scientific tools and helps foster innovative thinking. It also helps cement Scion as a world-leader in areas such as forestry management and genetics, biosecurity, bioenergy and bioproducts.


Biorefinery technology

Scion has the expertise to support growing global interest in biorefinery processing, based on a long history of research and development for the pulp and paper industry.


Biospife goes to Europe

Scion’s collaboration with ZESPRI®, recognised as the world leader in premium quality kiwifruit, continues to grow. Scion scientists have been working with ZESPRI® to develop a bioplastic spife (spoon-knife) made, in part, from kiwifruit residue.


Exploring benefits of the bioplastics boom

More than 50 people from around the country with an interest in bioplastics are gathering in Rotorua for a day-long workshop at Crown Research Institute Scion on 13 August.


Award winning designs expand bioplastics' potential

Students at Unitec’s School of Design recently took up a challenge, outlined by Crown Research Institute Scion and the Designers Institute of New Zealand, of creating stylish, functional products using bioplastics derived from sustainable resources.


Spider web inspires new nano fibre venture

A Canterbury student whose research into producing nano fibres is supported by Crop & Food Research and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, has gone on to be involved in the development


NZ can grow all its own biofuels

Scion research shows New Zealand has enough land available for purpose-grown forests, to fuel vehicles within 40 years.


Biofuels fuel debate about benefits


New Science

Going bio: the next frontier in 3D and 4D printing

The worlds of 3D printing and biopolymers, such as protein, lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose and so on, are colliding, bringing about a new evolution of additive manufacturing where 3D objects are created by adding material layer on layer.


Zespri's biospife ready for market

Taking a product from the laboratory to market is a challenging process. But after a long journey, the biobased and industrially compostable version of Zespri’s iconic spoon-knife, the biospife, is now ready for use. Following many rounds of testing and development, Zespri has 150,000 biospifes ready for kiwifruit lovers all over the world to cut, scoop and compost.


A natural alternative to a fishy problem

Scientists have long been researching eco-friendly packaging alternatives to one of the most widely used plastics, polystyrene. This is now a step closer with the construction, by Biopolymer Network Ltd, of a pilot plant capable of producing fish boxes made from a bio-foam that looks and behaves much like its less eco-friendly counterpart.


LignoTech - leading the greeen way forward

Strong, lightweight and economical are highly desirable properties when it comes to buying a car. But one made using corn residue?


Unique facility to test biodegradation and composting

Scion has designed and built a unique-to-New Zealand test facility for measuring the aerobic composting of materials such as bioplastics, paper and wood, and quantifying the time it takes for materials to biodegrade.


A whole new racquet for flax

Scion has been stressing, stretching and pounding plant fibres to understand how they respond to repeated pressure. Flax fibres are of interest because overseas manufacturers are using them in combination with resins to make tennis racquets, high-performance bicycles and racing yachts.


Scion creates new bioadhesives

Scion has created a new recipe for adhesives made 100 percent from bio-based ingredients. This breakthrough will help manufacturers of wood panel products to overcome regulatory and customer concerns about formaldehyde emissions.


New light on composites

An extraordinary lamp design by celebrated artist and furniture maker, David Trubridge, has drawn attention to the possibilities offered by new biomaterials.


New Zealand triumphs in International Bioplastics Awards

A New Zealand-developed product has won the Best Innovation in Bioplastics category at the International Bioplastics Awards.


Novel bioactive coatings show promise as anti-foulants



New Value

Weaving mātauranga Māori and Scion science

Rotorua iwi Ngāti Whakaue have been working with Scion scientists to deliver a unique educational project that merges our science and innovation with traditional Māori knowledge.


Investment in bioplastics research pays off

Bioplastics are a small but rapidly growing niche that currently represents about 1% of the global plastics market. Their use is expected to grow by over 10% per year, with the estimated global market expected to be more than 12 million tonnes per year by 2020.


Tiny titans

New titanium metal alloy open-pore materials currently being developed at IRL could offer high-value contributions to the biomedical sector.


ArborGen Renews Agreement with Scion

ArborGen, LLC and New Zealand Crown Research Institute Scion have agreed to extend their multi-million dollar partnership in gene discovery and molecular breeding for forest trees.


Win-win as odour control enables biogas capture


NZ CRIs join forces with leading US enzyme discovery company

New Zealand CRIs Scion and AgResearch are in a research programme with US-based Diversa Corporation which could ultimately see New Zealand’s vehicle fleet running on New Zealand-grown and manufactured biofuels.


Crown Research Institutes

  • AgResearch logo.
  • Plant and Food Research logo.
  • ESR logo. GNS Science logo.
  • Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua logo.
  • NIWA logo.
  • SCION logo.

Crown Agent

  • Callaghan Innovation logo.

Subsidiaries, associates, joint ventures

  • Biopolymer Network
  • EcoGene
  • VARNZ Ltd
  • EnCoate
  • PhytaGro, Inc
  • Veritec
  • BioPacific Ventures
  • grasslanz
  • National Land Resource Centre (NLRC)
  • Atlastech
  • Clone International
  • farmax
  • Grasslands Innovation
  • Enviro-Mark Solutions
  • Virtual Institute of Statistical Genetics
  • Prevar