EU-funded research project to develop new production methods for sustainable marine fuels

June 29, 2020 |

In Germany, in an EU-funded research project, an international consortium aims to develop new production methods for sustainable marine fuels to replace heavy fuel oils in shipping. The use of heavy fuel oils (HFOs) contributes to global warming due to the fossil origin of these fuels and, moreover, generating non-negligible emissions of pollutants such as sulphur oxides. The IDEALFUEL project aims to create sustainable alternatives by developing new efficient and low-cost methods to produce low-sulphur heavy fuel oils from wood-based non-food biomass. OWI Science for Fuels gGmbH and TEC4FUELS GmbH are involved in the project as research partners.

IDEALFUEL aims to develop methods to convert woody residual and waste materials such as sawdust and wood chips into renewable marine fuels. The concept describes the conversion of lignin – the polymer found in the structural materials of plants and trees – from dry plant matter (otherwise known as lignocellulosic biomass) into renewable fuels.

To achieve this goal, the IDEALFUEL consortium plans to devise an efficient and cost-effective two-step chemical process. In the first step, lignin is extracted from lignocellulosic biomass in the form of Crude Lignin Oil (CLO), leaving behind a solid cellulose material that can be used in the paper industry or converted into ethanol. In the second step, the CLO is refined through a low-temperature hydrodeoxygenation process into a Biogenic Heavy Fuel (Bio-HFO) that can be used in combination with traditional fossil fuels in a fuel blend.

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Category: Fuels

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