CORDIS - EU research results

Future Feedstock Flexible Carbon Upgrading to Bio Energy Dispatchable carriers

Project description

Biogenic residues’ conversion for the bioenergy sector

The rapid exploitation of unused biogenic residues and wastes represents a challenge for the bioenergy sector. The EU-funded F-CUBED project will design an innovative process concept for the hydrothermal conversion of a vast range of biogenic residues and wastes to intermediate bioenergy carriers (IBCs) with the characteristics required for power grid stabilisation. The project expects to accelerate the exploitation of unused biogenic residues and wastes by increasing energy density and fuel characteristics and decreasing processing costs and greenhouse gas emissions when using IBCs for heat and power generation. It will confirm experimentally the main process by applying continuous hydrothermal reactor and dewatering pilots in three industrial sites dealing with paper sludge, fruit and vegetable wastes, and waste olive pomace.


F-CUBED aims to develop an advanced process concept for the hydrothermal conversion of a broad range of biogenic residues to intermediate bioenergy carriers (IEC) with fuel characteristics suitable for balancing the power grid. The core technology will be scaled up from lab (TRL 3) to pilot scale (TRL 5). F-CUBED will achieve a breakthrough acceleration in the utilisation of unused biogenic residues and wastes by:

1) Increasing energy density (at least to 5.5 GJ/m3) and fuel characteristics (complying with ISO/TS 17225‐8:2016-TA3 specifications) of biogenic residues through hydrothermal processing with an energy yield of 50%.

2) Showing at least a 30% improvement on residue processing costs, while obtaining GHG emission savings of at least 60% in using the IEC for heat and power generation.

3) Validating experimentally the core process by using continuous hydrothermal reactor (20 kg/hr) and dewatering pilots, in a relevant industrial environment on 3 representative side streams, at Smurfit Kappa Pitea (Sweden, paper sludge), Go Fruselva (Spain, fruit and vegetable wastes) and APPO (Italy, waste olive pomace).

4) Making and using a minimum of 100 kg (dry matter) of IEC in a relevant industrial environment.

5) Validating the parallel recovery of specific value-added products for each industrial case (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, terpenes and olive pomace oil recovery).

The F-CUBED approach enables the overall validation of a feedstock flexible process, able to deal with variable feed characteristics, such as size, composition and pumpability. Advance modelling tools (GIS mapping) will be used to optimize the residue value chains, including logistical impacts. Through its balanced consortium, reflecting the whole value chain with both SME and large companies from different parts of Europe, F-CUBED results will be rapidly implementable and suitable to un-lock the bioenergy potential of these unused residual streams.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 435 500,00
2595 DA Den Haag

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West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Agglomeratie ’s-Gravenhage
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 465 500,00

Participants (14)