This project to develop cutting-edge technologies to improve the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of pre-treatment stages in biorefinery operations is part of the Bio-based Industries Research and Innovation action ( BBI-2019-SO2-R2) sub-programme of the Horizon 2020 Programme.
The implementation of biorefining concepts at large scales is often affected by the need to achieve a balance between pre-treatment steps and the main conversion phase. The need to obtain high-purity fractions from the starting biomass to be fed into the following steps entails the use of harsh conditions in the pre-treatments. This entails high costs caused by:
(i) energy, water and/or raw materials (e.g. chemicals, enzymes) requirements;
(ii) complexity of operations and maintenance;
(iii) an increase in waste and residues generation;
(iv) increased production of inhibitor compounds that may affect the overall yields of biorefining processes.
On the other hand, soft operating conditions in pre-treatments often result in a lower effectiveness in biomass fractionation, thus directly affecting the yields in the targeted products during conversion phases. Several technologies based on chemical, biochemical, physical processes or a combination of these has shown the potential to provide valuable and sustainable solutions to substitute and/or efficiently integrate pre-treatment processes currently implemented.
The specific challenge is to reduce costs and improve sustainability associated with the pre-treatment steps of biomass feedstock while making it possible to achieve of sufficiently high yields in the targeted products in the subsequent conversion steps. Identify and develop cost-effective, efficient and sustainable technologies for biomass pre-treatments, paving the way for feeding the biomass fractions/components obtained after pre-treatments into the subsequent conversion steps. The solutions developed may be based on chemical, biochemical or physical processes, or a combination of these.
04th of September de 2019
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