Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

RENEW — Result In Brief

Project ID: 502705
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Germany

Using plant-based organic waste to fuel cars

The EU is committed to developing alternative energy and one of the main focuses is on mobile applications, or automotive combustion engines. EU-funded researchers conducted feasibility studies leading to recommendations for using ligno-cellulosic biomass, the most abundant renewable feedstock on the planet, to produce liquid fuels for cars.
Using plant-based organic waste to fuel cars
The ‘Renewable fuels for advanced powertrains’ (RENEW) project was designed to investigate the feasibility of converting ligno-cellulosic biomass to liquid (BtL) biofuels in various regions of Europe for use in present and future motor vehicles.

The researchers first evaluated the regional availability of ligno-cellulosic biomass with the prerequisite of no effect on food, animal fodder and fibre. Among the regions with highest biomass density are central France, East Germany and western Poland.

Further economic assessments of cost distribution and production costs led the investigators to conclude that western Poland and Sweden are the most suitable regions for the first industrial scale BtL plants for diesel synthesis (cEF-D, Centralized Entrained Flow Gasification for diesel) and di-methyl-ether synthesis (BLEF-DME, Entrained Flow Gasification of Black Liquor for di-methyl-ether production).

BtL-Diesel and BtL DME are favourable alternative fuels for current powertrains and could lead to substantial decreases in consumption and emissions in future powertrains. In addition, environmental impact could be further minimised by implementation of more sustainable biomass production, introduction of new species and increased conversion efficiency.

In summary, the opportunities for converting biomass to liquid fuel to be used in the transport sector are promising throughout Europe. Consideration of RENEW guidelines should lead to the first industrial-scale BtL plants, providing economic and environmental benefits for European industry and consumers alike.

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