Biofuels through Electrochemical transformation of intermediate BIO-liquids
The availability of compact and cost-efficient solutions for sustainable energy production is essential for renewables to become Europe's dominant primary energy source. EBIO will contribute to achieve EU’s ambitious objectives, by providing an innovative technical solution for the sustainable and socially acceptable conversion of low value crude bio liquids, specifically fast pyrolysis oil and black liquor, into energy dense transport fuels. The core of EBIO is the electrochemical upgrading of liquefied biomass to stable and energy dense bio oils and further refinery co-processing to premium transport fuels. The former step consists of successive depolymerisation, hydrogenation and decarboxylation, optimised by developing electrode materials, cell designs, separation processes and efficient integration into existing biorefinery infrastructure. An efficient, compact and safe process will be developed, operating at mild conditions, and targeting a carbon yield from crude bio liquid to transport fuel above 60%. The experimental development is supported by a broad sustainability analysis including economic feasibility, environmental footprint and impact on society and rural development. EBIO will validate the new technology at lab-scale (TRL4), using an integrated approach covering the entire process, using variable feedstock, minimising separation costs, and increasing resource and carbon efficiency. The lab scale process developed will be the prototype for a future fuel production system serving as buffer for fluctuating electricity availability. Wide implementation of EBIO technology will lead to a decrease of at least 190 MtCO2 / year, and the production of at least 61 Mt biofuels/year, considering only pyrolysis oils and black liquor feedstock. The EBIO consortium provides complementary world class expertise along the entire value chain and strong industrial commitment to maximise wide exploitation of the results through industrial implementation.