Use biogenic gaseous carbon to increase feedstock availability for the industry
Demonstrate the conversion of biogenic gaseous carbon into chemicals or intermediates for: (i) further processing into value-added applications; or (ii) using to grow new biomass.
Eligible gaseous feedstocks within the scope of this topic are: (i) C1-carbon emissions from biorefineries or any other bio-based operation, including anaerobic fermentation processes (e.g. in brewing and bioethanol production) and hydrothermal liquefaction and gasification of biogenic feedstock; and (ii) CH4 (methane) and CO2 from biogas  or syngas plants.
All proposals must include a description of the necessary logistics for the capture and preparation of the biogenic C1-carbon feedstock.
If the biogenic gaseous-carbon sources are mixtures, proposals must include cleaning or purification phases to prepare the C1-carbon feedstock for efficient conversion steps.
Proposals for converting the biogenic gaseous carbon into chemicals or intermediates can apply any relevant technology (biotechnological, chemical, combinations, etc.). Proposals must include the appropriate size for the operations (small, medium or large) to adequately handle the local availability of the feedstock sources. These sources could be dispersed over relatively long distances. Early involvement of equipment/machinery developers is essential. The business case underlying the proposal must include a feasibility assessment (technological and financial) of the associated processes at the planned scale and location, and in combination with other relevant processes.
Proposals for using biogenic gaseous carbon to grow biomass as feedstock for industrial exploitation must focus on capture, pre-treatment (as necessary), and the steps needed to grow biomass.
All proposals must show a clear direction for the envisaged value chain by including next steps to develop value-added products and applications.
Proposals must demonstrate the life-cycle benefits of the project.
The scope of this topic does not include processes that will lead to energy, fuel, or electro-fuels.
All proposals must address all the requirements for demonstration actions shown in Table 3 of the Introduction.
The technology readiness level (TRL) at the end of the project should be 6-7. Proposals should clearly state the starting and end TRLs of the key technology or technologies targeted in the project.
It is considered that proposals requesting a maximum contribution of EUR 7 million would be able to address this specific challenge appropriately. However, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
 Biogas consists of 60% CH4 and 40% CO2. Both biogenic gases can be utilised in an integrated concept to produce bio-based chemicals or intermediates, or used for growing new biomass sources. The number of biogas plants in the EU is increasing significantly (already more than 17,400 in 2015) of which only a fraction feeds into the natural gas grid, leaving large volumes of the gas available as local sustainable feedstock for conversion into added-value products.
Gaseous-carbon emissions are a threat to climate stability when they exceed the extraction capacity of plants, forests and the sea. This threat has been present since gaseous-carbon emissions from industrial activities started to add to the natural (biogenic) carbon cycle. Some sections of industry are therefore seeking to create a low-carbon emission economy by avoiding or reducing fossil-based carbon emissions or capturing these emissions for storage or use. Carbon-containing emissions are also potential feedstock sources for industry (serving as ‘C1-carbon’ sources). Some conversion and use technologies for gaseous carbon have been proven in the laboratory and even at pilot scale. It is now time to scale up these technologies to demonstration level so they can subsequently be commercialised.
The bio-based industry can demonstrate efficient recycling and recovery concepts for its biogenic gaseous emissions. Turning biogenic emissions into something of value by producing valuable chemicals contributes to the industry’s ‘zero-waste’ biorefining objectives and abates climate change.
Biogenic gaseous carbon can be used: (i) as a feedstock for the conversion into platform chemicals; (ii) to increase the growth of biomass as feedstock for industrial exploitation; or (iii) to create energy solutions. However, the last option is not within the scope of this topic.
The specific challenge is to use biogenic gaseous carbon as a feedstock for the bio-based industry through: (i) direct conversion into bio-based chemicals or intermediates; or (ii) growing new biomass sources.
EXPECTED IMPACTS LINKED TO BBI JU KPIS:
- contribute to KPI 1 — create at least one new cross-sector interconnection in the bio-based economy;
- contribute to KPI 2 — create at least one new bio-based value chain;
- contribute to KPI 6 — demonstrate at least one new consumer product based on bio-based chemicals and materials that meet market requirements.
- reduce greenhouse gas (GHG; including CO2) emissions (expressed in CO2 equivalents) by at least 20% through the capture and use of the biogenic gaseous carbon from the value chain being addressed;
- help replace fossil-based products with bio-derived GHG-based alternatives; or prevent the use of fossil-based feedstock by introducing new bio-based products for needed applications for which there is no fossil-based counterpart;
- contribute to the EU’s 2050 long-term strategy for a climate-neutral Europe by replacing fossil-based material by using biogenic emissions as raw materials.
- diversify the incomes of the bio-based sector(s) from which the targeted gaseous emissions originate;
- produce at least one B2B or B2C GHG-based product in sufficient quantities to allow validating the value chain.
- create new job opportunities in the bio-based sector in rural, coastal and/or urban areas;
- increase the competitiveness of European biomass producers and the bio-based industry by increasing: (i) feedstock and energy efficiency; (ii) business growth; and (iii) investment, while ensuring environmental sustainability and an increase in local biodiversity.
TYPE OF ACTION: Innovation action – demonstration action.