Improving the feasibility of second generation biofuels: Objectives

  • Advance technologies for production of 2nd generation liquid biofuels.
  • Expand the knowledge-base on the subject.
  • Use Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a tool to evaluate environmental impacts.
  • Develop an economically feasible process towards high gravity, i.e. operating at the highest raw material concentrations as possible.

Participating Countries

Denmark, Norway & Sweden

Timeline

Hover over the milestones for more information.

Project start

Equipment ready

Equipment suitable for high gravity hydrolysis and fermentation ready.

Combining processes

Strategies for most efficient combination of hydrolysis and fermentation identified and optimised.

Requirements and strategies

Identification of key nutritional requirements and detoxification strategies enabling high gravity fermentations using lignocellulosics.

Project end

2010-09
Project start

2011-09
Equipment ready

2013-08
Combining processes

2012-01
Requirements and strategies

2014-08
Project end


Full project title: High Gravity hydrolysis and fermentation of lignocellulosic materials for production of bio-fuel (HGBioFuels)

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Project:

Improving the feasibility of second generation biofuels

This project aims to improve the production processes for 2nd generation biofuels. Using ‘high gravity’ techniques which have higher raw material concentrations, the project will improve the economic feasibility of this promising technology.

Participants

  • Project Institutions:
  • Chalmers University of Technology, Dept of Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Chalmers University of Technology, Dept. Energy and Environment, Sweden
  • University of Copenhagen,Denmark
  • Statoil Hydro, Norway
  • Inbicon - a DONG Energy subsidiary, Denmark
  • SEKAB E-Technology, Sweden

Project objectives

  • Advance the technology for production of 2nd generation liquid biofuels (ethanol and butanol) at very high gravity by improving process integration, hydrolysis procedures, developing novel robust fermentation organisms and optimising fermentation conditions
  • Expand the knowledge-base on yeast and bacterial growth and physiology under industrially relevant conditions using various Nordic lignocellulosic feedstocks.
  • Use Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a tool to evaluate from an environmental point of view (i) yeast based ethanol production under high gravity conditions and (ii) to assess research steps necessary to make butanol conceivable as a biofuel in addition to ethanol.
  • Develop an economically feasible process towards high gravity, i.e. operating at the highest raw material concentrations as possible.

Background

Meeting the need for new energy solutions

With the diminishing availability of oil-based fuels, new energy solutions are called for. One option is to use bioethanol as a transportation fuel. However, using raw materials that compete with food production is not a sustainable solution. 2nd generation biofuels do not compete with food production and are seen as a more sustainable and equitable alternative to 1st generation technologies.

Optimal technology for 2nd generation biofuels

To make 2nd generation biofuels cost competitive and with minimal environmental impact, the processes have to be operated at high gravity (HG), and they should be robust enough to process both agricultural and forest feedstocks. Ethanol fermentations at high gravity conditions in brewing and starch bioethanol industry have been a key factor in improving productivity and reducing energy/operation costs. However, implementation of high gravity conditions using lignocellulosics, especially from woody biomass, requires new knowledge and technology. This is the purpose of this research project.