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A range of technologies exists for converting biomass into fuels, heat and power. To develop 2nd generation biofuels and energy competitive for commercial production, cross-sectional knowledge and efforts must be united.

The solution

Biofuel life cycle, Biomass ethanol from corn, sugarcane, wood, diagram illustration

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If the available portion of the world agricultural byproducts and domestic residues were anaerobically digested, this could potenailly replace a quarter of currrent natural gas consumption. About 17 million vehicles running on natural gas could be switched to biomethane.

Today the annual production of biofuels comprises about 24 billion liters of biodiesel and 89 billion liters of bioethanol.  These biofuels are so-called 1st generation biofuels produced from oil plants or sugar/starch crops, feedstocks that also can be used as food. Many efforts have been invested to develop 2nd generation biofuels based on lignocellulosic biomass.

Unite efforts to address main challenges

Research on lignocellulosis biomass spans across wide range of disciplines.The Bio4Fuels  Centre for the first time brings together leading Norwegian research institutes and universities, key national and international industry partners, major forestry resources owners and regional authorities into one common initiative on production of energy carriers from renewable sources. Bio4Fuels thus unites the efforts of national research groups towards addressing the main challenges of the core biomass value chain in long-term research efforts at the highest international level, by addressing:

  • Resource us and availability for bio-resources in Norway and policy challenges and design options
  • Saccharification of softwood, energy efficiency and product quality for Primary Biomass Conversion
  • Energy efficiency, high yields and fermentation of novel fuels for Secondariy Conversion and Upgrading of Biomass
  • Identifying the most promising process configurations and the most efficient and clean end use

Reduced emissions from the energy and transport sectors

The goal is to establish a national platform, with strong international cooperation, working towards sustainable production of biofuels and bioenergy, and concomitant valorisation of side streams and residues. By establishing a framework for producing biofuels and bioenergy from renewable Norwegian resources, the ultimate goal is a reduced global CO2 footprint from the energy and transport sectors.

Bio4Fuels will thus try and:

  • Identify the five most sustainable value chains, bringing at least two of them to pilot stage

  • Achieve up to 20% increase of overall product yield and up to 30% reduced processing costs within the main value chains compared to the current state of the art

  • Integrate research fields to develop at least one new conversion technology and at least three processes for value added products in a biorefinery setting

  • Broaden feedstock for integrated and standalone heat and combined heat and power

  • Strengthen the long term National and international cooperation generating directly a portfolio of six National and at least one Nordic/EU projects per year.

Published 29. August 2016 - 13:29 - Updated 30. August 2017 - 13:05

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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