Intelligent production of resources made from lignocellulose
FFG-Programm Intelligente Produktion, FFG-Projektnummer 843687
Ligno II ("Lignorefinery 2") - Intelligente Wertstoffproduktion aus Lignocellulose - modulare Bioraffinerie für innovative regionale Reststoffnutzung
Vision biobased industry
On the way to a biobased future, social change moves us closer to sustainability, and products from
biobased industry establish themselves in competition. Surface area productivity goes up, and existing resources are used in the best possible way as regards all dimensions of sustainability. System integration makes synergies accessible, innovations succeed by way of cross-linking and combined technologies that make flexibility with respect to material specification, raw material and process possible.
In this way biobased industry strengthens the national economy and enhances local value creation.
(RTI strategy for biobased industry in Austria, ÖGUT 2014 in german)
Society faces a worldwide pressure to reduce the dependence on fossil resources for material production. Lignocellulose biomass, such as wood residues constitute a renewable resource which does not compete with food production. The utilization of biomass depends essentially on nearly full conversion to value added products and on flexibility of usable substrates and achievable products.
This concept has been already investigated in the initial project Modular Biorefinery of Lignocellulose (FFG Project Nr. 834297). The aim of this project was to establish several process options in the lab scale and to evaluate them. For the project we expected the definition and evaluation of the optimal material flux and the establishment of several process steps in lab scale.
Based on this work we established the other modules, including novel technology for product purification. The entire process chain was then evaluated for its economic and ecological impact. The material streams are mapped out in process descriptions within a broader business model, with the aim of maximizing the processes identified economically. The final project goal is to attract investors for the idea and find a production site for actually producing these new materials.
We aimed at following material streams, to be achieved by suitable chemical/physical separation methods:
- Hemicellulose and cellulose are mainly hydrolysed for the biotechnological conversion to lactic or itaconic acid. We could show the technical feasibility in both cases, however considerable research effort is required to achieve economically relevant yields.
- Purification of the organic acids based on a new technology of Fermtech GmbH which is based on recycling of the required chemicals.