Source: SNF (National Resource Programme NRP 66)
Partner: EPFL, ETHZ
Duration: 2012 – 2016 (55 months)
Bio-refineries offer the timber industry numerous ways to turn biomass into valuable products. Due to its composition and complex chemical structure, wood can be used to make a large number of value-added products. A great challenge is the design of each bio-refinery. The project aimed to holistically assess, integrate and optimise innovative processes and conversion technologies in different biorefinery system designs. The aim of the research project is to give a technological guidance to the decision makers in industry and politics, on the suitability of technology from market and environmental perspectives. Therefore, different biorefinery technologies were investigated with respect to their environmental, economic and safety perspective considering the process system engineering dimension and the possibilities of developing synergies between technologies used in an integrated biorefinery. The process integration and optimization of sugar and syngas platforms helped in improving economy of production and lowering the environmental burden of conversion of wood into fuels, chemicals and energy services. The framework developed includes a data base of bio-refinery processes supported by optimization based decision support algorithms.