There is globally a large and growing market for biofuels, mainly due to environmental and safety of energy supply concerns, which is only limited by production capacity and competitive prices. Currently, the market is almost totally based on 1st generation biofuels, which have negative implications to global food resources. Therefore the rising pressure towards shifting to biomass residues and waste feedstock, is only hampered by the strong scientific and technological barriers still hindering the economic sustainability of so-called second generation biofuels production. The lead SME in the GREEN-OIL project holds a promising innovative process, based on microwave enhanced catalytic depolymerisation for the production of second generation bio-oil from feedstock materials like agricultural, industrial or municipal organic waste. However, currently the process generates bio-oil with high water content and consequently low sales price. The group of SMEs behind the GREEN-OIL project aims at developing new technology to upgrade this bio-oil for utilization in transportation (engine fuels) and for the production of lubricants. Specifically, the consortium wants to develop (1) an innovative dewatering process to reduce bio-oil water content below 2% and (2) a new fractionation process and conversion schemes for refining the dewatered bio-oil. Furthermore, the refined bio-oil will be tested as engine fuel, and the heavier fractions will be assessed as fossil crude replacement for manufacturing lubricants. Consequently, the GREEN-OIL project will strongly increase the competitiveness and economy of the participating SMEs by providing them with state-of-the-art technology for bio-oil upgrading, therefore widening the applicability of this product to new added-value markets.
Original end date of the project: 28-02-2014.