Conclusion of the project

After more than 4 years of research, The Bioren project came to an end. Below are the most important take-aways, as well as a link to the major publications on the topic.

The project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework program. Grant Agreement No 818310

The first step in the Bioren process is the design of a separation line using a combination of techniques to isolate the organic fraction. On average MSW contains 30-40% of biomass. the organic fraction is separated from the other components regarding the different physical and chemical properties. The sorting line is designed by Drysep in collaboration with the engineering team of Renasci. The sorting line plays a dominant role in the effectiveness of the next steps in the Bioren project.

Labo Vossen in collaboration with VIB and BBEPP developed a rapid pre-treatment involving an acid treatment leading to an optimised accessibility for enzymatic hydrolysis of the cellulose and hemicellulose into a C6/C5 sugar solution. In order to produce cellulose streams of a high quality a system is developed for a preliminary deinking and deashing process which would give use to higher ethanol production.

VIB has the task of development of strains followed by the evaluation of these strains in enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. VIB developed 2G ethanol yeast strains capable of efficiently fermenting both pentose and hexose sugars. It was confirmed that the xylose fermentation performance of the engineered strains was improved. VIB has performed various enzymatic hydrolysis in various conditions were reported in order to compare on lab-scale the efficiency on the enzymatic hydrolysis and subsequent fermentation. This in order to reach a productivity of at least 11.5 g/l/h ethanol productivity , a high yield (> 90% of total sugar) and final ethanol titer (>6% v/v). Using the cellulase Cellic CTEC3 at a concentration of 150 ul/g DS and a saccharification efficiency of 75-90% has been obtained dependent on the nature of the samples and the pre-treatment conditions.

Also the reaction conditions of the saccharification gave a considerable increase in saccharification efficiency and also to reduce the enzymatic dosage to 3,75 FPU/g DS.

Several saccharification and fermentation of clean cardboard and paper/cardboard have been performed on lab-scale and pilot plant scale. A demonstration SSF process (2m3 scale) on paper and cardboard was set up. The saccharification was executed according to a fed-batch strategy. The paper/cardboard was pulped (15%) and treated with 5% Cellic CTEC 3 enzymes and gradually paper/cardboard was added up, after 60 hours an ethanol concentration of 8.5% v/v was obtained.

After the fermentation the remaining solids of the broth were separated off using a decanter centrifuge were sent to Ingelia for the hydrothermal carbonisation for the production of Biocoal. The carbonisation is performed in an inverted flow reactor at 200-225°C at 18 bar. This followed by filtration of the carbon deposits. A bust test was done on a 5kg sample supplied by BBEPP. Experiments showed that all treatments are increasing the fixed carbon by at least 50% of its original value in biomass giving a yield of 65-70%.

Procede has produced samples of GTBE for engine testing at Lund university. GTBE is an efficient fuel additive for enhancing engine performance and lowering emissions for gasoline and diesel. GTBE is produced from glycerol by reaction with isobutene. GTBE is a mixture of three components mono GTBE, di-GTBE and tri-GTBE. All components are being tested on performance. These samples have been produced by commercial isobutene. Experiments have started to evaluate isobutene production from isobutanol via catalytic dehydration. In the future, this procedure will be applied on the isobutanol produced by fermentation.

Preliminary results on engine testing on the performance of GTBE and isobutanol as oxygenated additives for diesel. These test revealed that all oxygenated blends (3-5%) resulted in an overall decreased soot emissions, but some blends showed an increase in NOx. The emissions of CO and total hydrocarbon content THC were low.

A literature analysis dealing with LCA and LCC in the field of the environmental impact of biofuels production, distribution and combustion was performed by MEERI. This overview involves both biofuels of 1st and 2nd generation based on literature data and information from Bioren partners.

Link to the main publications on the topic:

  1. Production of Bio-Ethanol from the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste and Refuse-Derived Fuel, 28/09/2022, Roland Verhe, Saju Varghese, Johan M. Thevelein, Jasmijn Hazegh Nikroo, Margaux Lambrecht, Emile Redant and Gilles De Clercq.

Biomass magazine – MDPI

  • Environmental impact assessment of organic waste conversion technology for additives to liquid fuels, 01/01/2020, Magdalena Muradin.

Energy policy journal,118731,0,2.html

  • The Identification of Hotspots in the Bioenergy Production Chain, Energies, 2020, 3(21), 5757; M. Muradin, J.Kulczycka,

Energies magazine – MDPI

  • Circular models for sustainable supply chain management, 01/01/2022, Magdalena Muradin,

Sustainable Products in the Circular Economy book

  • Production of biofuels from the organic fraction of municipal waste – BioRen project, 12/2019, Magdalena Muradin,

Krakow technical society magazine

  • Development of competitive second-generation biofuels from municipal waste, 05/2021, Information about BioRen project in Czasopismo Techniczne KTT, Joanna Kulczycka

Krakow technical society magazine

  • Safety analysis of the installation for biofuel production from municipal solid waste as an important aspect of the bioRen project, 06/2021, Natalia Generowicz, Gilles De Clercq

Iati magazine: VII International Conference Young Researchers’ Innovative Ideas

  • Second-generation biofuel production from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste, 25/08/2022, Zygmunt Kowalski, Joanna Kulczycka, Roland Verhé, Luc Desender, Guy De Clercq, Agnieszka Makara, Natalia Generowicz, Paulina Harazin.

Frontiers in Energy Research magazine

  • Enzymatic conversion of organic municipal solid waste into biofuels: environmental impact of BioRen project M. Muradin, J. Kulczycka, G. de Clercq, R. Verhe,



ISSN 2282-0027, ISBN 9788862650267

  • Environmental impact assessment of organic waste conversion technology for additives to liquid fuel, M.Muradin, Volume 23, Issue 1, 135–150;


DOI: 10.33223/epj/118731

  • Glycerol derivatives as motor fuel oxygenates: effect on engine performance and emissions. André Olson, Sebastian Verelst

KCFP – Competence Center for Combustion processes, ANNUAL REPORT 2019, pages 44-45.

  • Isobutanol as a gasoline oxygenate and as neat fuel for direct-injection spark-ignition engines: effect on engine performance and emissions. André Olson, Sebastian Verelst

KCFP – Competence Center for Combustion processes, ANNUAL REPORT 2020, pages 13-14.

  • A Concise Review of Glycerol Derivatives for Use as Fuel Additives. 03/08/2022. André Olson, Martin Tunér, Sebastian Verhelst

Heliyon Magazine or

  • Process optimization for saccharification and fermentation of the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (OFMSW) to maximize ethanol production performances. October 2023.

Bioresource Technology Reports 24(1):101681: Follow Journal

DOI: 10.1016/j.biteb.2023.101681