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Prototyping emerging bio-based products from lignocellulose by zero-waste pathways

Project description

A boost for bio-based products

In recent years, the threat of climate change has been increasing, fossil resources have been dwindling and their prices increasing. This has initiated a push towards cleaner more reliable production routes. But a problem has arisen, the already existing approach to bio-based production routes are costly and convoluted, which tend to offer little to no improvement over the previous routes. Because of this, a need exists for new better products and easier production routes. The EU-funded PURE project aims to research and introduce a new novel catalytic method for a more ecologically friendly and cost-efficient production of chemical building blocks that find use in a variety of industries.

Objective

The need: The dwindling fossil resources and their increasing price together with concerns related to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution necessitate an urgent transition to the use of renewable starting materials and the fundamental change of our manufacturing practices to cleaner, more sustainable production routes.
The challenge: Existing approaches for bio-based production routes are complex and costly, while oftentimes offering limited or no increase in quality over conventional approaches. Several challenges need to be tackled in order to further unlock the great potential of bio-based production methods. There is a pressing need for (i) simple, zero-waste production routes from raw material to end-product with a minimal number of reaction steps and high-yield; (ii) the discovery of novel, emerging products that are superior to existing ones in terms of properties, performance as well as environmental and health impact.
The solution: My ERC Starting Grant (CatASus) has introduced fundamentally novel catalytic methods for the environmentally benign, zero-waste, non-toxic, and cost-efficient production of chemical building blocks that find concrete valorisation potential in a wide array of industries, including pharmaceuticals, food, agriculture and fuels/energy sectors.
The proof of concept: Bringing PURE as a sustainable yet cost-effective chemical manufacturing process of valuable bio-based building blocks to the multibillion-euro chemical manufacturing market offers a highly attractive business case. In this PURE ERC PoC, I will explore the commercial viability of lignocellulose as renewable resource for the production of high quality fine chemical building blocks, by performing proof of concept studies: (i) confirming feasibility of upscaling to (pre-)industrial scale and (ii) outlining a solid business strategy that delineates the optimal product-market combination and path towards commercialisation.

Host institution

UNIVERSITAET GRAZ
Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
Address
UNIVERSITATSPLATZ 3
8010 Graz
Austria

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Region
Südösterreich Steiermark Graz
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)