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Develop innovative single-step processes for conversion of a biomass feedstock into multiple readily usable intermediate streams


Develop innovative technologies for conversion of a bio-based feedstock into intermediate streams that can readily be used by the bio-based industry. Such conversion should happen in a single step, not involving complex cascading schemes, and should tackle all fractions of the input biomass.

The scope of this topic covers any bio-based feedstock.

Proposals are encouraged to focus on existing value chains. If proposals focus on new value chains, they must provide a sound business case (including at least evidence of availability of the biomass and market demand for the intermediates produced).

Proposals should commit to assessing the environmental impacts of the developed processes or products using LCA methodologies based on available standards, certification, accepted and validated approaches1. (see introduction – section 2.2.5 - published in the BBI JU AWP 2018)

Proposals should also include an economic viability performance check (value chain and market analysis) of the developed products and processes, along with an analysis of social impacts where applicable.

If relevant, proposals should also allow for pre- and co-normative research necessary for developing the needed product quality standards.

The technology readiness level (TRL)2 at the end of the project should be at least 3 for the bio-based value chain in question. Proposals should clearly state the starting TRL, which may be as low as 1 or 2.

The scope aims at assisting industry to further explore promising technologies to broaden and strengthen the bio-based industries in Europe. It also aims at reducing the environmental footprint of the total value chain.

Indicative funding:

It is considered that proposals requesting a BBI JU contribution of between EUR 1 million and EUR 2,5 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. However, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

To be eligible for participation a consortium must contain at least one constituent entity of the Bio-based Industry Consortium not eligible for JU funding according to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 623/2014.

1The LCA may focus on a set of critical issues early on to steer the development process in the right direction. In this case, it is essential that this selection is carefully explained in the proposal in order to allow for expert assessment. See also in the introduction

2Technology readiness levels as defined in annex G of the General Annexes to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme:

Due to the nature of most bio-based feedstocks, industry often faces a situation in which just a fraction of the feedstock is converted into a main product. The other fractions are discarded or routed through subsequent cascading steps to recover or produce useful compounds. These cascading operations allow for the recovery of useful materials, but require high capital and operating expenses.

The specific challenge of this topic is to achieve single-step technologies able to make biomass fractions and/or first conversion products available.

  • reduce the capital and operating costs of converting biomass into usable compounds for further processing
  • reduce the environmental footprint of biorefining operations in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and the resource efficiency
  • reduce residual streams from biorefining operations.

Expected duration: 1 to 4 years.

Type of action: Research and innovation action.

The conditions related to this topic are provided in the chapter 2.3.3.