Europe funds BioBoost project to develop intermediates, biocrude

By Erin Voegele | January 04, 2012

A new biofuel initiative in the EU is set to kick off on the first of the year. The project, referred to as BioBoost, aims to convert residual biomass into intermediates, such as biocrude, for the production of drop-in biobased fuels and chemicals, as well as electricity and heat. The project, which is coordinated by German-based Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, is one of two new energy carrier projects that have been funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme.

According to information released by KIT, six research institutions and seven industrial partners have signed on to participate in the program. Research completed under the BioBoost program will complement existing research at KIT, known as “bioliq,” that is focused on the production of drop-in fuels from crop residues. The three-and-a-half year project is set to receive a total of €5.1 million ($6.6 million).

Research carried out under the BioBoost program will focus on the production of energy-rich intermediate products from biomass residues. Activities will also focus on the testing and evaluation of these products regarding their usability. This will include assessments regarding the use of these products in the bioliq process.  KIT stressed that the objective of the program is to significantly improve the efficiency of the use of biomass and biomass residues in the future. For this reason, the BioBoost project will also cover the analysis of economic efficiency, optimization of logistics chains, and the investigation of environmental compatibility.

“Due to its broader access to usable residues and a broader spectrum of use of the energy carriers, this project fits excellently [with] our bioliq project in Karlsruhe,” said BioBoost Project Coordinator Ralph Stahl from the Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology (IKFT) of KIT.  “Both projects profit from each other in an ideal manner.” 

Information published by the European Commission noted that participants in the BioBoost program include Neste Oil Corp., FH OO Forschungs & Entwicklungs GMBH, Grace GMBH & Co. KG, AVA-CO2-Forschung GMBH, Syncom Forschungs-UND Entwicklungsberatung GMBH, DSM Chemical Technology R&D BV, Chimar Hellas AE, ENGW Energie Baden-Wurttemberg AG, Instytut Uprawy Nawozenia I Gleboznawstwa, Panstwowy Instytut Badawczy, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Universitaet Stuttgart, and Nederlandse Organisatie Voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek-TNO.