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EU Launches €37M Next-Generation Integrated Biorefinery Project

Work has begun on a new EU-funded project to improve the performance of Europe’s biorefineries. Dubbed EUROBIOREF (European multilevel integrated biorefinery design for sustainable biomass processing), the project aims to improve cost efficiency by 30%, cut energy use by 30% and reduce feedstock consumption by 10%.

The 4-year project has a total budget of €37 million (US450.5 million), €23 million US$31.4 million) of which comes from the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

The EUROBIOREF project aims to overcome this fragmentation in the biofuels sector by promoting more networking, coordination and cooperation between different groups. To do this, it has put together a project consortium that covers the whole biomass production chain, including researchers, companies in the (bio)chemical industry and European organizations.

Together, the partners will develop an integrated biorefinery concept covering a wide range of feedstocks and different processes (chemical, biochemical and thermochemical). This integrated system will result in the production of a variety of products, ranging from chemicals, polymers and materials to high-energy aviation fuels.

The project partners are taking a flexible, modular approach to the new system; this will allow them to easily adapt the system so that it can be used in large and small plants in different locations in Europe. They hope that by improving the efficiency of the reaction processes, making the system more flexible and reducing production time and logistics, they will be able to improve cost efficiency by up to 30%.

In addition, they intend to reduce the amount of energy used in the process by 30% and cut feedstock consumption by 10%. Finally, the plants should produce zero waste.

Sustainability is at the heart of the project; the team will carry out environmental life cycle assessments of the integrated biorefinery. The system’s social sustainability will be judged on the basis of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) guidelines for the social life cycle assessment of products.

The project partners come from 14 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Madagascar, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Comments

Henry Gibson

Biorefineries are merely a fraud subsidised by politicians who wish to appease the environmentalists and the voters who have been falsly led to believe that biofuels can be an answer to the CO2 releases of the Human race.

I do not doubt that much CO2 is being released and that it causes changes, but devastating forests and grasslands in foreign countries after we have devasted forests and grasslands centuries ago in our own countries for biofuels is not the answer. There should be an international law against the import or export of biofuels from any country. If biofuels are good, they should be produced entirely in the countries that require the use of them.

Since only one nuclear power reactor has exploded in the last 60 years and with its safety features disabled for an experiment, it is clear that Nuclear reactors and the power from them have been made too expensive by far too many safty regulations. But even so, the duplication of existing CANDU reactors can be done with adequate cheapness to provide energy for many uses, and all of the areas now used for the production of biofuels can be returned to their natural state.

The invention of efficient underground and undersea dicrect current transmission systems has eliminated the need for any stationary carbon fuel use in the whole of the British Isles including all small islands.

Efficient heat pumps combined in places with cogeneration can heat and cool all buildings at acceptable costs. Big heat using industries can be located near reactors for very cheap steam. Nuclear reactors that produce steam alone can be installed in several chambers deep below large cities to produce steam for heating and cooling. This is an analogy to the large steam driven water pumps that pumped high pressure water from the Thames to London establishments, of all kinds, to run mechanical equipment.

Steam could then be provided to all establisments for heating, cooling and electricity. Recycled glass- Foamglas insulation can keep malleable cast iron steam pipes protected for hundreds of years of service. The whole sytstem can be considered artificial geothermal energy.

Automotive fuels can be produced from hydrogen that is produced at nuclear powerplants even now with ordinary high temperature electrolysis at lower cost than it can be produced from foreign oils at $120. CO2 can also be recycled from the air to be recombined with hydrogen at that price. It is much more efficient to use plug in hybrid vehicles, but conversions are costly. ..HG..

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