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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.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/economics/production economics/productivity
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/forestry
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/organic chemistry/alcohols
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology/phycology
  • /agricultural sciences/agricultural biotechnology/biomass
  • /engineering and technology/industrial biotechnology/biomaterials/biofuels
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels
  • /engineering and technology/industrial biotechnology/bioprocessing technologies/biocatalysis
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/organic chemistry/hydrocarbons
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/atmospheric sciences/climatology/climatic changes
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/lipids

Call for proposal

H2020-LCE-2014-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

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)

UPPSALA UNIVERSITET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 651 250
Address
Von Kraemers Alle 4
751 05 Uppsala
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAET BIELEFELD
Germany
EU contribution
€ 631 500
Address
Universitaetsstrasse 25
33615 Bielefeld
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 166 363,75
Address
South Kensington Campus Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI FIRENZE
Italy
EU contribution
€ 432 355
Address
Piazza San Marco 4
50121 Florence
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
A4F ALGAFUEL SA
Portugal
EU contribution
€ 205 036
Address
Estrada Do Paco Do Lumiar Campus Do Lumiar Edificio E R/c
1649 038 Lisboa
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
IFP Energies nouvelles
France
EU contribution
€ 553 235
Address
Avenue De Bois Preau 1 & 4
92500 Rueil Malmaison
Activity type
Research Organisations
NESTE OYJ
Finland
EU contribution
€ 300 350
Address
Keilaranta 21
02150 Espoo
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE
Germany
EU contribution
€ 521 327,50
Address
Kaiserstrasse 12
76131 Karlsruhe
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
CENTRO RICERCHE FIAT SCPA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 307 375
Address
Strada Torino 50
10043 Orbassano
Activity type
Research Organisations
VOLVO TECHNOLOGY AB
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 319 167,75
Address
Gotaverksgatan 10
405 08 Goteborg
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
SYNCOM FORSCHUNGS- UND ENTWICKLUNGSBERATUNG GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 440 875
Address
Am Steinacker 16
27777 Ganderkesee
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)