Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: At present, (di)carboxylic acids, diols or polyols are produced industrially as important source of innovative bio-based products such as bioplastics or added value fine chemicals as an alternative to existing petrochemical sources. Currently available production processes have inherent disadvantages, such as the harsh operation conditions, high pressure and high capital costs. The challenge is to overcome the mentioned technological hurdles while improving the environmental performance and cost-effectiveness of production.

Scope: Demonstration of the techno-economic viability of the integration of biotechnological, biochemical and chemical processes for the conversion of lignocelullosic residues in a cascading approach into fermentable sugars, then into (di)carboxylic acids, diols (e.g. butanediol) and polyols and further into bio‑based materials as final products. Proposals should address the entire value chain, from the supply of the biomass resource to the market suitability of the targeted products. Proposals should assess the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the entire value chain on a life-cycle basis. The industrial viability of the process is to be demonstrated at medium-scale (e.g. 20 kton/year) building where relevant on existing infrastructure. Proposals should prove the economical access to sufficient raw material to set up the new supply chain. Involvement of end-users is required assuring the viability of the demonstrated concepts in the value chain. Proposals will consider standardisation related activities expected to facilitate the market uptake of the developed bioproducts.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of at least EUR 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.

Expected impact:

·         Reducing of energy requirements with respect to conventional processes based only on chemical and physical treatments.

·         Improving process paramaters (e.g. conversion, yield) as compared to currently available dicarboxylic acids, diols and polyols production processes, (e.g. for butane diol conversion higher than 80% and yield higher than 40%).

·         Demonstrating of at least 3 bio-based materials, showing favourable competition with oil-based counterparts price-, environmental- and performance-wise.

Demonstrating bio-based materials with at least 70 % bio-based content, and less than 2.3 kg CO
2eq/kg emission.
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