Bio4Fuels is a cross-disciplinary research centre involving graduate students, PhD students and research scientists at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and University of South-Eastern Norway (USN). The Centre has an extensive network of partners from industry, research institutes and academia, both in Norway and abroad, and public bodies.
The ambition of the Bio4Fuels Centre is to reduce the impact of climate gas emissions from the transport sector through sustainable and economic production of Biofuels. Biomass, in particular low-grade fractions of wood from the forest and waste from agriculture, is a renewable resource that can potentially substitute the use of fossil resources in the transport sector, together with other renewable energy solutions.
There are four main biomass-to-products-routes identified for the Centre:
- Breaking down the biomass to separate the sugars in the biomass for use in fermentation to produce "Bio-alcohols". This can be blended up to certain levels into existing fuels.
- Fermentation of the biomass in the absence of oxygen to produce "Biogas". This Biogas can be upgraded to methane, liquified or converted to hydrogen for use as fuels in transport.
- Treatment of the biomass at higher temperatures in the absence of oxygen to produce a liquid "Biooil", which is then upgraded to a substitute Biofuel.
- Treatment of the biomass at higher temperatures to convert to gas, followed by upgrading of the gas to a substitute Biofuel.
In addition to the main routes from biomass to Biofuels, it is also important to convert side streams and byproducts from the processes to products of higher value than fuels. This can be important to help the overall economics of the commercial process.
In addition to the research on the processes, Bio4fuels has a significant activity focused on issues related to the sustainability and economics related to the production of biofuels:
- Improving the technologies and economics of processes for converting Biomass to Biofuel.
- Investigating the sustainability and impact of large-scale use of low-grade Biomass for Biofuels production.
- Evaluating process concepts and testing the quality of the Biofuels for existing engines.
The research Centre is organized into five Sub Projects (SP) (click for more information):
- SP1: Bio-resource, Environment and Climate
- SP2: Liquefaction Processes
- SP3: Biochemical Processes
- SP4: Gasification Processes
- SP5: Process design and End Use