29 Oct 2018

Virtual pyrolysis plant locations in Europe

Availability and quality of biomass resources at four potential sites. An extensive study into the availability and quality of biomass resources in Europe has shown the potential for new lignocellulosic biorefineries to be opened in France, Finland, Romania and the Netherlands. The study was conducted within the Bio4Products Horizon 2020 project, which is testing the feasibility of a fast pyrolysis based biorefinery concept.

‘Virtual’ locations

Lead authors Capax Biobased Development first researched the total availability of selected biomass feedstocks in EU member states, focusing on lignocellulosic by-products and residues. Based on the results of this analysis, and additional factors such as sustainability, logistics and opportunities for industrial symbiosis, four ‘virtual’ plant locations were identified, with high potential for hosting a pyrolysis plant:

  • Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands. Feedstock: Poplar (Short Rotation Coppice and phytoremediated poplar)
  • Marne region, France. Multi-feedstock: Wheat straw, Flax shives, Forestry chips (hardwood), Poplar wood slabs (sawmill residues)
  • South Karelia region, Finland. Feedstock: Forestry residues (softwood)
  • Moldova region, Romania. Feedstock: Sunflower husks

Each of the four locations has sufficient biomass available within a 100 – 150 km radius to sustain a typical 5 tonne/hour commercial plant. The report also includes information on the local biomass supply chains, investigating quality, seasonality and competitive usage of the selected biomass feedstocks.

Pyrolysis based biorefinery

Today there are just two commercial fast pyrolysis plants in Europe; in the Netherlands and Finland. The Dutch EMPYRO plant produces electricity, process steam and fuel oil from woody biomass.

Within the Bio4Products project, BTG Biomass Technology Group are demonstrating how the main product of fast pyrolysis – a bio-oil – can be separated into pyrolytic lignin and sugars.

The lignin and sugar are renewable chemical intermediates that can be used to substitute fossil materials such as bitumen, phenols and creosote, in end-products including roofing materials, resins and wood modification. Industrial partners in the project are reporting positive initial results, and it is hoped that new bio-based products could hit the market soon after the project closes in 2020.

You can download the full report here.

Article sourced from: www.bio4products.eu/study-shows-potential-for-commercial-fast-pyrolysis-plants-in-france-finland-and-romania/

24 Oct 2018

Rehap Workshop highlighted development of bio-based products

Rehap hosted their first workshop on the 27 September at the University of Augsburg to explore the matter of the availability of raw materials to be used in the bioeconomy.

At the end of September, held over the morning of the 27, the Rehap Workshop at the University of Augsburg promoted successful cases for bio-based products and materials, as well as detailed results from the on-going Rehap project.

Four presentations were made from Rehap partners, focused on the techniques and bottlenecks of the technologies and processes they have used in their research.

  • Logistics management – Overview of procuring and forecasting how much biomass is available in Europe.

Prioritised the theoretical, technical and bioeconomic potentials of agroforestry waste in Europe and an interactive database has been developed to show these quantities. A collection/supply network is to be established for the transportation of agroforestry residue into eco-efficient products, taking into consideration economic and environmental parameters.

  • Biochemistry – A look at the specific protocols, extraction and isolation methods of lignin and tannin.

Higher extraction temperature and the addition of Na2CO3 are the most important factors to increase tannin yield, with challenges occurring in the hydrolysis of oligo- or polymeric carbohydrates in raw tannin. Fresh saw mill spruce bark is the most promising source of tannins however it is recommended that raw tannin extract is used instead.

  • Process upscaling – Developing, validating and up-scaling products suitable for application in the targeted final products.

It is not easy to convert the abundance of lignocellulosic biomass for commercial viability. However, the extraction and isolation of tannins, lignin and carbohydrates from forestry waste streams are being tested and scaled up amidst challenges of scaling biomass fractionation processes. The carbohydrates will be used to upscale 2,3-butanediol from fermentation.

  • Sustainability evaluation – Market analysis and impact assessment through a life cycle approach.

Key areas looked at the preliminary LCA and LCC on Rehap processes and materials with aims to be the starting point for processes’ optimisation from an environmental and economic point of view, and to set standards to achieve Rehap’s environmental targets. Results are relevant for the whole industrial sector and should be integrated within decision-making processes.

Project presentations were followed by an informative presentation from an expert from the Technical University of Munich, Professor Dr. Klaus Richter.

  • Cascade use of wood – Concept and case studies

A look at how the forestry sector can fit a circular economy to improve resource efficiency. Cascading case studies were presented. This approach uses the same unit of wood for multiple applications with a gradual reduction in quality and size. Based on the WoodWisdom EraNet case study a number of best practices were established as well as barriers, including health and safety guidelines and the need for a tool to maintain recovered wood quality.

For more information regarding on-going Rehap results, or if you have any questions regarding the workshop, please contact Amelia Brice: amelia@ipl.eu.com

22 Oct 2018

SPIRE 2050 Vision: A new Value Proposition for Horizon Europe and beyond

The extent and the pace of the transitions that our society requires over the next decades are pushing the limits of human knowledge and our ability to deploy innovations. The challenges we face include climate change, growing resource scarcity and urbanisation, and the growing market demand for customised products, services and solutions that also ensure low health and environmental impacts, responsible sourcing and high-quality control.

In all these significant challenges, the European Process Industries and their research partners also see innovation and business opportunities. With this in mind SPIRE believes it is time to boost the transitions and has formulated a new Vison 2050 to guide its work into the EU’s Horizon Europe programme and beyond.

The SPIRE 2050 Vision document can be viewed here.

Value proposition

The SPIRE Vision 2050 is built around a new Value Proposition:

"An integrated and digital European Process Industry, fostering a "well-below 2 degrees" scenario and a fully circular future for our planet and society."

This value proposition expresses SPIRE’s ambitious Vision that the future of Europe lies in strongly enhanced cooperation across sectors and across borders, enabling a meaningful step change in competitiveness and sustainability performance that brings benefits for Europe and all its citizens.

The technological gap to achieve the Vision 2050 remains huge, but SPIRE is ready to contribute its share to bridging the gap through ambitious Research and Innovation initiatives under the forthcoming Horizon Europe programme.

SPIRE’s ambition is to boost investments in Europe generating global competitiveness for EU Process Industries, better jobs and welfare for our citizens. These investments should, through the efforts of SPIRE Industries, deliver the technical solutions enabling the transition of the global economy towards a "well-below 2 degrees" scenario. SPIRE aims to develop game changing technologies towards carbon neutrality and scale them up to reach a step change in Carbon Productivity.

Vision for transformation

In its Vision 2050, SPIRE is looking to transform the way industry and society works. This will require:

  • ‘Connecting the dots’ – investing for smart integration of process industries across Europe. SPIRE’s vision is that the future of Europe lies in a strongly enhanced cooperation across industries – including SMEs – and across borders, enabling a real step change in competitiveness and sustainability performance.
  • ‘Bridging the Climate Technology gap’ – investing in process industries as enablers for a carbon neutral economy, developing and scaling up the required transformative technologies and solutions.
  • ‘Creating Hubs for Circularity’ – investing in process industries, regions and cities to deploy the circular economy at scale. The Process Industries will join forces with regions and cities to establish “Hubs For Circularity” for energy and resources in Europe that are crucial to deploy a circular economy at scale.

Working together, SPIRE believes we can make the transition.

Article sourced from: www.spire2030.eu/news/new/spire-2050-vision

17 Oct 2018

New EU Bioeconomy strategy launched

The European Commission has published a new Bioeconomy Strategy including a set of 14 concrete actions to be launched by 2019.

It represents an update on the 2012 strategy, following a review which took place last year.

New actions defined in the strategy are divided across three areas:

Strengthen and scale-up the bio-based sectors, unlock investments and markets. This includes intensifying research and development through instruments such as the BBI-JU, a €100 million Circular Bioeconomy Investment Platform, and improving standardisation and labelling to grow the market for bio-based products. There is also a specific action point on facilitating the deployment of new sustainable biorefineries.

Deploy local bioeconomies rapidly across Europe. Within this priority, pilot actions are planned in rural, coastal and urban areas, policy support will be made available for member states and attention will be paid to developing education, training and skills needed to implement the growing bioeconomy.

Understand the ecological boundaries of the bioeconomy. This involves enhancing the knowledge base of specific bioeconomy areas including biomass availability and the status of biodiversity, to ensure the bioeconomy operates within safe ecological limits.

The strategy aims to achieve five objectives: 1. ensuring food and nutrition security; 2. managing natural resources sustainably; 3. reducing dependence on non-renewable, unsustainable resources whether sourced domestically or from abroad; 4. mitigating and adapting to climate change, and; 5. strengthening European competitiveness and creating jobs

By developing and demonstrating a new biorefinery concept for producing renewable chemicals and bio-based products, the Bio4Products projects will help deliver on these objectives, in particular 3, 4 and 5.

Access the full Bioeconomy Strategy document here.