EU researchers developing small-scale biofuel facility using forest waste feedstock

November 6, 2018 |

In Germany, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microengineering and Microsystems IMM, working together with twelve research groups from seven countries in the EU project BIOGO, have developed a technique to produce just such an eco-friendly biofuel. The novel fuel’s ingredients come from forests.

A prototype novel biofuel plant stands in the courtyard behind the Fraunhofer Institute. Waste products from the wood industry are transformed in the white container into high-quality gasoline.

In a first process stage, developed by the Italian company Spike Renewables, the wood waste is heated to form a dark, viscous pyrolysis oil. This can be further processed in the mobile plant. The reaction chambers for this purpose, called microreactors, have been developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Mainz. The first reactor converts the pyrolysis oil into synthesis gas by adding heat, air, and steam. This gas is used to produce methanol in the second step. Extracting the oxygen from this, results in synthetic gasoline.

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Category: Research

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