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Enzymatic treatment and fermentation
In order to rid the feedstock of contaminations, but also to liberate glucan and hemicellulose content for subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis, the organic fraction of the waste is chemically pretreated. An industrial yeast strain engineered by the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie or VIB) will optimize fermentation of the pre-treated organic fraction to produce second generation ethanol and isobutanol.
Production of bio-GTBE
The bio-isobutanol distilled after fermentation is then dehydrated and converted into bio-isobutene. Thanks to an acid catalyzed reaction with glycerol the production of Glycerol Tertiary Butyl Ether or GTBE is enabled, a fuel additive diesel fuel so that:
- Engine performance is improved by optimum fuel combustion is improved, thereby reducing harmful emissions
- Enables a net reduction of CO2 emissions due to the combination of 2 waste streams, glycerol and OFMSW, into a fuel additive.
Procede, a Dutch partner and spin-off from the University of Groningen is responsible for this part of the research project.
“Improved engine performances and reduce harmful emissions”
After distillation, the fermentation sludge is processed via HTC or HydroThermal Carbonisation at the Ingelia pilot plant facilities. There, the sludge is treated in a slightly acidic environment at a temperature of ca. 200°C and with 18 bar of pressure in order to convert it into high quality biocoal pellets:
- Water resistant
- High carbon content
- Maximum of 10% ash content
- At least 23MJ/kg caloric value
“The process enables the production of biocoal pellets as a second generation alternative to wood pellets.”
These pellets will be sold on the market as a second generation alternative to wood pellets and can be used as a feedstock starting material for the production of syngas production.
Validation and lifecycle analysis
The second generation biofuels the BioRen project produces are subject to extensive engine tests at the University of Lund in Sweden, assessing their performance, emission specs and fuel consumption under various conditions.
The Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and business case optimization is in the hands of the Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences