Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Specific challenge: There is a strong, but currently underexploited, potential for valorisation of sugars and lignin streams from wood. Although a number of fractionation routes are available such as: dilute acid, ammonia fiber expansion, steam explosion followed by enzymatic hydrolysis, supercritical fluid, concentrated acid and organosolv processes none of them have been proven at demonstration scale for wood fractionation, or for production of other chemicals than ethanol. There is thus a lack of adequate (combinations of) technologies able to efficiently process wood into sugars and lignin and further convert them into biochemicals.

Scope: Demonstration of the techno-economic viability of efficient and sustainable processes for disintegration of wood into sugars and lignin and to further conversion of both fractions into high added value products, building where relevant on existing infrastructure. Proposals should address the realisation of new wood-based value chains for the production of chemical building blocks, materials and biofuels (other than ethanol) in a cascading approach, by a combination of biotechnology and chemical processes. Proposals should prove the economical access to sufficient raw material to set up the new supply chain. A life-cycle assessment should be carried out in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed technologies. Involvement of end-users is required assuring the viability of the demonstrated concepts in the value chain. The proposal 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:

·         Developing cellulosic/hemi-cellulosic-based products with a value which is at least 2 -3 times higher than current products. Lignin-based products with a value which is at least 3 - 4 times higher than current lignin energy value.

·         Enhancing of process yields with respect to conventional methods, targeting at least a 75% conversion rate of lignocellulosic biomass into value added products.

·         Revitalising of rural areas as well as forestry and wood-harvesting stuctures.

·         Improving measurably the sustainability and efficiency levels of processes for competitive products compared to current processes.

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