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Demonstration of solvent and resin production from lignocellulosic biomass via the platform chemical levulinic acid


The GreenSolRes project demonstrates the levulinic acid (LVA) value chain of lignocellulosic feedstocks to high-value products in a 3-step approach on TRL 6. First, a demonstration plant in Biorefinery of RWTH Aachen will be designed and build for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to the platform chemical levulinic acid. Levulinic acid hydrolysate separation enables more efficient and purer levulinic acid production. In a 2nd step the versatile platform chemical levulinic acid is hydrogenated to 2-methyltetrathydrofuran (2-MTHF), gamma-valerolactone (GVL) and 1-methyl-1,4-butanediol (MeBDO) in a direct process developed by RWTH Aachen. These can be produced in the same reactor with a single catalyst by tuning the process conditions. In parallel, BASF will investigate the conversion of LVA esters to MeBDO and GVL. Third, the application of the products as solvents is validated in adhesives and the pharma sector as substitute of their less sustainable C4-analogues. Additionally, HENKEL studies the development of respective new polymers with improved properties. The basic engineering of first commercial plants for these steps supports rapid upscaling and exploitation after the project. This will release these products from the niche markets they are confined to due to ineffective existing production routes. At competitive prices compared to their petrochemical C4-counterparts these chemicals and related products will boost the bio-based market as they have a high greenhouse gas emission avoidance of at least 70% and an additional value to society via better health & safety properties. The whole value chain from e.g. forestry residues to consumer products is assessed for environmental sustainability, risks and health & safety to support business case development and market implementation.

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Net EU contribution
€ 3 492 894,79
Templergraben 55
52062 Aachen

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Nordrhein-Westfalen Köln Städteregion Aachen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (10)