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European consortium begins demonstration project for conversion of woody biomass to chemicals: BIOFOREVER

BIOFOREVER (BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes)—a consortium of 14 European companies—has started a demonstration project for the conversion of woody biomass to value-adding chemical building blocks such as butanol, ethanol, and 2,5–furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) on an industrial scale.

The demonstration project will run for 3 years. The overall budget is €16.2 million (US$18 million) with a €9.9-million (US$11-million) contribution from BBI JU. Woody biomass, including waste wood, will be converted to lignin, (nano-) cellulose and (hemi-) cellulosic sugars, and further converted to lignin derivatives and chemicals. Feedstocks will be benchmarked with crop residues and energy crops.

A number of pre-treatment and subsequent conversion technologies will be demonstrated, including delivering commercialization routes for the most promising value chains.

Typically, such bio-refineries will be projected in logistic hubs such as the Port of Rotterdam and other European ports.

In December 2015 the consortium applied for European funding under the Horizon 2020 program and in April 2016 the proposal was positively evaluated by Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a public/private partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium.

BIOFOREVER consortium partners include: API Europe, Greece; Avantium Chemicals BV, Netherlands; Bioprocess Pilot Facility BV, Netherlands; Borregaard AS, Norway; Bio Refinery Development BV, Netherlands; DSM, Netherlands; Elkem Carbon AS, Norway; Green Biologics Ltd, UK; MetGen Oy, Finland; Nova Institute, Germany; Novasep Process SAS, France; Phytowelt, Green Technologies GmbH, Germany; Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands; and SUEZ Groupe, France.

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