Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Demonstration of the techno-economic viability of transformation of one or multiple lignocellulosic feedstock into one of the following bio-based products/applications:

i) bioethanol targeting a production capacity of at least 50,000 ton/year. Proposals should address the valorisation of co-products and show a credible path towards becoming an integrated biorefinery concept by applying a cascading approach.

ii) diols and/or diacids as bio-based chemical building blocks targeting a production capacity of at least 5000 ton/year. Proposals should address their further conversion into sustainable biomaterials within an integrated biorefinery concept applying a cascading approach.

Proposals should pursue all possible means of industrial symbiosis and integration of actors along the whole value chain and, wherever possible, make use of existing facilities. Proposals should prove the sustainable and economical access to sufficient raw material to set up the whole value chain, and include activities to ensure the functioning/organisation of a sustainable supply chain. Proposals will assess market demand of the targeted products and will consider market-pull related activities (e.g. standardisation, consumers’ perception) aimed at facilitating their market uptake. Proposals should include a Life Cycle Analysis in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed products. Proposals are expected to verify and validate safety, quality and purity of end products to meet commercial requirements. The leading role of relevant industrial partners is considered essential to achieve the full impact.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of up to EUR 35 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:

  • Demonstration of a new local bio-based value chain maximising the use of lignocellulosic resources for the production of bio-based chemicals, materials or ethanol.
  • Opening up significant potential for job creation in rural areas. Creating green jobs and facilitating the development of entrepreneurial activities throughout the entire value chain, with advantages for the primary sector (i.e. agriculture and forest), the secondary sector (e.g. logistics, bioproduct transformation industry) and the tertiary sector;
  • Improving cost-efficiency and sustainability of bioethanol/diols/diacids as compared with conventional ones;
  • Proposals dealing with bioethanol will reach: a dry matter content in the fermentation process of less than 20%, an improved Capex and decreased energy use, specifications of the bioethanol matching those required by downstream processing and/or regulations where applicable.
  • Proposals dealing with diols and diacids will demonstrate at least 2 bio-based materials with more that 80% of bio-based content;
  • Contributing to realising the objectives of Biotechnology and/or other Key Enabling Technologies under Horizon 2020 and dedicated EU policy to address the development of scientific and technological know-how in key enabling technologies and its translation into industrial products and solutions to societal challenges.

  • SpecificChallenge:

    Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the most abundant resources of fixed renewable carbon on earth. It is present in resources such as woody crops, agricultural and forest residues, residues from agro-industrial processing and forest-based industries, as well as residues from conventional biomass conversion plants. While bio-based chemicals, materials and ethanol produced from food crops are already on the market, meeting market standards for a wide variety of applications, their production from lignocellulosic feedstock opens up large opportunities in terms of enhancing sustainability, avoiding land conflicts and expanding resource potential. Demonstration activities are already being pursued to exploit this vast renewable resource through the application of biotechnological, chemical or other processes. However, the challenge lies in establishing at industrial scale a first-of-a-kind, cost-effective biorefinery concept leading to the conversion of lignocellulosic feedstock into bio-based chemicals, materials and ethanol.

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