The north German medium-sized company is moving in new directions in the area of “Nawaro binders” with sustainably-produced raw materials.

January 2018 saw the initiation of the project “Establishment of a large-scale mixed cultivation of peas and camelina to strengthen biodiversity and ecosystems and development of a value-added chain based on sustainably produced, domestic, renewable raw materials” within the framework of the federal program for Biological Biodiversity. Worlée is pursuing this project together with the Deutsche Amphibolin-Werke (DAW). From Worlée’s point of view, the project sets a leading example for cooperative work between industry and agriculture and combines the promotion of biological diversity with sustainable paint production in an exemplary manner.

Camelina (Camelina sativa) is an oil plant that can be grown in mixed cultivation with peas, for example. This form of cultivation is particularly sustainable as it requires no additional arable land. The pea yield remains more or less constant in mixed cultivation despite simultaneous camelina production. Thus, renewable raw materials are produced that do not create competition with the cultivation of feed and foodstuffs. As demonstrated by different research projects, camelina is a magnet for wild and honey bees as well as for other insects. In agricultural regions with large-scale monocultures, food sources for bees and other pollinators are often quite limited beginning in June. At precisely this time, camelina blooms over a period of many weeks, providing sustenance for the insects. This is particularly important, as according to current estimations, 35 percent of worldwide food production is dependent on pollinating insects such as wild bees, and insufficient availability of food sources is one of the main causes of insect death. Camelina is on the Red List of endangered domestic crop plants in Germany. Due to mixed cultivation with peas, it will be seen more often in the agricultural landscape again. Furthermore, pesticide usage is reduced in comparison with exclusive pea cultivation, as there are virtually no pea-approved herbicides that are tolerated by camelina; however, the camelina plants suppress weeds themselves due to their rapid growth.

For these reasons, camelina cultivation promotes biological diversity in agriculture. The pea-camelina combination is grown in northeastern Germany. Separation of the harvest is carried out with sieves and/or air classifiers, after which the camelina – likewise in the growing area – should be pressed. This process yields not just the camelina oil, but also a press cake that is useful and valuable for animal feed. As a basis material for binders, the oil serves as a substitute for less sustainably-produced, imported raw materials. Worlée uses camelina oil for the production of alkyl resins. Worlée-Chemie has set itself the task of building up a stable and sustainable supply chain. For this purpose, the first step requires finding farmers willing to implement the mixed cultivation into their planting. Furthermore, certain organisational conditions must be put in place; namely, separation, drying and pressing of the harvest as well as removal of the press cake must be organised and established. Due to the particular sustainability of the pea-camelina mixed cultivation, this project is being supported by the federal program Biological Diversity over a period of five years. The sponsor of the project is the DAW, which has been a partner and customer of Worlée-Chemie for many years. Worlée is defined in the project as a contractor.

Funded by the Federal Agency of Nature Conservation with recources from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

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