EU BIOBOOST to focus on biomass-based fuels, power

By Anna Austin | January 04, 2012

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany is leading a project that will focus on converting biomass into engine fuels and chemicals, as well as heat and electricity.

Titled BIOBOOST (Biomass-Based Energy Intermediates Boosting Biofuel Production), the project will focus on dry and wet residual biomass and wastes, such as straw, as feedstocks for decentral conversion by fast pyrolysis, catalytic pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization into bio-oil, biocoal or slurry.

The researchers will test the energy products with existing and developing applications for the production of heat and power, synthetic fuels and chemicals, and bio-crude for refineries. They will also craft a market implementation plan to ramp up production and apply the concept to large-scale gasification to determine optimal technical and economic performance, according to the project proposal.

BIOBOOST will complement KIT’s previously developed bioliq concept, which targets the production of designer fuels for diesel and gasoline engines from biogenous residues. The research is being funded with a €5.1 million ($6.6 million) grant under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, and is scheduled to last until 2015.

A dozen industrial companies and research institutions from Finland, Austria, Germany, Greece, Poland and the Netherlands, are participating in the project. The large collaboration will help cover all necessary areas including feedstock, conversion processes, separation and upgrading, transportation and logistics, end usage and value chain assessment.