EC-funded R&D on Cellulosic Ethanol

2G BIOPIC (Horizon 2020) - The purpose of the 2G BIOPIC project - Second Generation BIoethanol sustainable production based on Organosolv Process at atmospherIc Conditions - is to demonstrate the performance, reliability and sustainability of the whole value chain of production of bioethanol from agricultural residues and wood. 2G BIOPIC (2015-2018) aims to design, construct and optimize a second generation (2G) demonstration plant with a capacity of 1 T of biomass/h. This 2G plant is based on the scale-up and optimization of bioethanol production from an already validated pilot plan scale (50Kg/h) achieved in a previous project (FP7 BIOCORE).

SUNLIQUID (FP7) aims to develop a large-scale lignocellulosic ethanol demonstration plan (~€225 million) with EC support of €23 million, 2014-2018. Includes participants from Austria, Germany and Hungary, with Clariant as the coordinator.

BABETHANOL - a collaborative research project between Europe and Latin America for the development of more sustainable processes for 2nd generation biofuel from lignocellulosic biomass (FP7 227498)

A short video presentation on the BABETHANOL project:

BABILAFUENTE- Project for the Production of 200 Million Litres of Bioethanol in Babilafuente (Salamanca) from Cereals and Lignocellulose (FP5 - NNE5 - 00685)

BIOCORE - Biocommodity refinery (FP7 BIOREFINE 241566)

BIO-HUG Novel bioprocesses for hemicellulose up-grading (FP5 - QLK3 - 00080)

BIOLYFE Demonstrating large-scale bioethanol production from lignocellulosic feedstocks (FP7-239204)

DISCO Targeted DISCOvery of novel cellulases and hemicellulases and their reaction mechanisms for hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass (FP7)

FibreEtOH Bioethanol from paper fibres separated from solid waste, MSW (FP7 239341)

HYPE High efficiency consolidated bioprocess technology for lignocellulose ethanol (FP7 213139)

KACELLE Kalundborg Cellulosic Ethanol Project (FP7). The aim is to bring the patented Inbicon Core Technology from a pre-commercial level to a near-commercial level, making the technology available in the market and attractive to investors (see also Inbicon Biomass Refinery below)

LED (Lignocellulosic Ethanol Demonstration) - Industrial solutions from a global bioethanol player

NEMO - Novel high performance enzymes and micro-organisms for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to bioethanol

NILE- New Improvements for Ligno-cellulosic Ethanol (FP6 - 1982)

PROETHANOL2G - An EU-Brazil Collaborative project on Integration of Biology and Engineering into an Economical and Energy-Efficient 2G Bioethanol Biorefinery

Borregaard production of ethanol from spruce (SupraBio & EuroBioRef)

Cellulose producer, Borregaard, is involved in the development of biorefineries for the production of value-added products from wood, including bioethanol. Projects include supplying ethanol derived from spruce for 20 buses in Oslo. Borregaard was a key partner in the FP7 biorefinery projects Supra-Bio and EuroBioRef

The Borregaard demonstration biorefinery opened in April 2013, producing ethanol, lignin and added value biochemicals from wood, integrating a range of conversion technologies in a single facility.

FibreEtOH Project

The €16.26m collaborative FibreEtOH project ran from 2010-2013, with €8.65m support under FP7. The project was coordinated by UPM-Kymmenne. Other partners include AB Enzymes GMBH, Skandinavisk Kimiinformation AB, Poyry Forest Industry ConsulatingOY, Sila & Tikanoja OYJ, ST1 Biofuels, Roal and Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus.

The innovative focus in the FibreEtOH project was to demonstrate for the first time globally in a commercial scale, a cost efficient paper fibre based ethanol production with high, > 70 % overall energy efficiency with high > 50 % green house gas reduction. 2nd generation ethanol production technology has been developed using mainly corn stover, straw or saw dust as raw material. So far reliable and cost efficient hydrolysis technology has been the bottleneck for large scale commercial success.

By using paper fibres separated from commercial and municipal solid waste or de-inking sludge at paper mills, the hydrolysis process was designed to be significantly easier as no pretreatment and special fractionation process was needed. The EtOH production cost was minimised by low price of the waste based raw material and the distillation steam compared to typical straw and wood EtOH production plants.

The results of the FibreEtOH project were published in Biomass and Bioenergy (Volume 46, November 2012, Pages 60–69). Ethanol and biogas production from waste fibre and fibre sludge – The FibreEtOH concept. The key results were as follows:

  • Ethanol and biogas were produced in pilot scale
  • Feedstocks were pulp and paper mill fibre sludge and waste fibre fractionated from solid recovered fuel
  • Process was operated in continuous mode in high consistency conditions (substrate concentration 300 g kg−1).
  • Liquefaction of the materials with enzymes was fast without any pre-treatment
  • Total ethanol yield of 48% was obtained with 27 h residence time