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Biocatalytic solar fuels for sustainable mobility in Europe

Biocatalytic solar fuels for sustainable mobility in Europe

Objective

Photofuel studies and advances the biocatalytic production of alternative liquid transportation fuels, which require only sunlight, CO2 and water. Microbial cells directly excrete hydrocarbon and long chain alcohol fuel compounds to the medium from which they are separated, without the need to harvest biomass. This significantly improves the costs and energy balances as only a minimum of nutrients is required for self-replication of the biocatalyst, whilst cell harvesting, drying and lipid extraction is omitted. Such minimum-input systems are compatible with operation on degraded or desert land which avoids the pitfalls of most of the currently available biofuel technologies. The products are drop-in fuels that fully or partially replace their fossil counterparts without the need for new infrastructure. To set a benchmark for alternative solar fuels, three research groups will collaborate in the advancement of the biocatalysts from TRL 3. The best biocatalytic system(s) will be up-scaled and operated outdoors in photobioreactors modified for direct fuel separation at a scale of several cubic meters (TRL 4-5). The identification of optimal future fuel blends with a fossil fuel base and Photofuel biofuels as additives, as well as the analysis of performance and emissions in car or truck engines, will be evaluated by the oil- and automotive-industry partners. The entire pathway will be assessed for environmental and economic performance as well as social acceptance of large scale production in rural communities and by the consumer. All results will be combined to a business development plan, which clearly identifies the opportunities but also the challenges prior to an economic fuel production in compliance to the EC Fuel Quality Directive.
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Coordinator

VOLKSWAGEN AG

Address

Berliner Ring 2
38440 Wolfsburg

Germany

Activity type

Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

EU Contribution

€ 469 416

Participants (11)

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UPPSALA UNIVERSITET

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 651 250

UNIVERSITAET BIELEFELD

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 631 500

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 1 166 363,75

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI FIRENZE

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 432 355

A4F ALGAFUEL SA

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 205 036

IFP Energies nouvelles

France

EU Contribution

€ 553 235

NESTE OYJ

Finland

EU Contribution

€ 300 350

KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 521 327,50

CENTRO RICERCHE FIAT SCPA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 307 375

VOLVO TECHNOLOGY AB

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 319 167,75

SYNCOM FORSCHUNGS- UND ENTWICKLUNGSBERATUNG GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 440 875

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 640720

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 May 2015

  • End date

    30 June 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.3.3.1.

H2020-EU.3.3.3.3.

  • Overall budget:

    € 5 998 251,50

  • EU contribution

    € 5 998 251

Coordinated by:

VOLKSWAGEN AG

Germany