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Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: FTIPilot-1-2015 | Award Amount: 3.34M | Year: 2015

The ReTAPP project aims at producing hardwood-based fructose for production of plastic bottles and all plastic packaging. The ReTAPP project will generate fructose from hardwood to commercial process as a replacement for food/starch based fructose. The fructose is further converted to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) a chemical that can be used to produce a biobased polymer, Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF). Ultimately, ReTAPP will make it possible to make the plastics from wood a solution not just sustainable and 100% renewable, but also technically and economically superior to the technologies and materials used today. In ReTAPP, the consortium will improve the processes through enzymatic solutions to positively impact quality, performance and economics: In the end, the wood-based fructose must be better than food-based fructose for further in chemical conversion in industrial scale. Even more importantly, the overall process, including but not limited to the fructose conversion, is also made economically more sustainable than the petroleum or the food-based solutions. Ultimately, the 100% renewable packaging is more affordable and has better qualities, such as barrier properties, than the most common thermoplastic resin: polyethylene terephthalate (PET). ReTAPP enables the collaboration between consortium members to address the entire value-chain and achieve objectives none of the companies could achieve alone. European competitive advantage can be found in strength of collaboration between masters of their field, such as MetGen, SEKAB and Avantium.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2012.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 4.71M | Year: 2012

The Eco2CO2 project aims at exploiting a photo-electro-chemical (PEC) CO2 conversion route for the synthesis of methanol as a key intermediate for the production of fine chemicals (fragrances, flavourings, adhesives, monomers,) in a lignocellulosic biorefinery. A distinct improvement in the ecological footprint of the envisaged chemical industries will thus be achieved by: i) boosting the potential of lignocellulosic biorefineries by exploiting secondary by-products such as furfurals or lignin; ii) providing a small but non-negligible contribution to the reduction of CO2 release into the atmosphere by exploitation of sunlight as an energy source. The most crucial development in the project will be the development of a PEC reactor capable of converting CO2 into methanol by exploiting water and sun light with a targeted conversion efficiency exceeding 6%, with reference to wavelengths above 400 nm, and an expected durability of 10.000 h. The above specifications must be reached without using expensive noble metals or precious materials which should enable costs of the PEC panels lower than 60 Euro/m2 including the installation. Catalytic reactions of methanol and furfural to produce perfuming agents via partial oxidation or methylation, as well as of lignin or lignin depolymerisation derivatives to produce adhesives or monomers (e.g. p-xylene) will undergo a R&D programme to achieve cost effective production of green fine chemicals, proven by the end of the project via lab bench tests of at least 100 g/h production rates. Based on early calculations, if successful, the Eco2CO2 technologies should be capable of inducing avoided CO2 emissions by the year 2020 as high as 50 Mtons/year worldwide.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IAPP | Award Amount: 920.56K | Year: 2013

The BIOFUR project consists of three partners. The SME Avantium Chemicals (AVT - NL), selected as one of the Cleantech top 100 companies in 2011 and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS - FR) and the University of Messina (UNIME - IT), both leaders in their respective fields. This multi-sectorial research work will contribute to breakthrough knowledge on the catalytic furanic conversion fundamentals and will be necessary for a sustainable technological development of these novel polyester materials and fuels based on renewable resources. The project consist of three workpackages: WP1: Production, Characterization, Optimisation and Environmental Impact of the Production of Polyesters; WP2: Development of Nanostructured Catalysts to improve the Performances and Sustainability of the Catalytic Conversion and Upgrading of Furanics, and; WP3: Managerial, Interdisciplinarity, Intersectoral and Dissemination aspects. The BIOFUR project shows that the proposed knowledge transfer for the three host organizations through the secondment of their own staff and the recruitment of researchers from outside the partnership is very beneficial for the host organizations by significantly increasing their research quality and overall RTD capabilities and competitiveness. The proposed dissemination and outreach activities will make sure that also to the greater European community will benefit from this project. The Coordinator of the BIOFUR project is Dr. Ed de Jong of AVT and the other lead researchers are Prof. Gabriele Centi of UNIME and Prof. Nicolas Sbirrazzuoli of CNRS.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IEF | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF | Award Amount: 183.47K | Year: 2014

The urgency to identify and develop sustainable and timely solutions for our future society has become clearly demonstrated due to the alarming trends in global energy demand, the finite nature of fossil fuel reserves, the need to dramatically curb emissions of greenhouse gases to mitigate the devastating consequences of climate change, the damaging volatility of oil prices (in particular for the transport sector) and the geopolitical instability in supplier regions. In this regard, I started to work since my postgraduated studies in to find alternative and greener methodologies in terms of materials preparation, production of biofuels (which can partially meet the future expected needs of our society in terms of energy for transport), (photo)catalysis as a greener alternative for the production of chemicals and energy as well as biomass and waste valorisation. Biomass from plant is the most important feedstock for food, feed and non-food applications. In the processing of plant materials e.g. wood for paper, substantial amounts of potentially valuable by-products are produced. In this regard, the host organisation, Avantium Chemicals BV, explores unique bio-refinery concepts on novel routes for C6 carbohydrates conversion using nanomaterials. The main objectives are: 1)To develop a range of new multifunctional catalysts (e.g. based on mesoporous silica materials with controlled acidity and metal nanoparticles loading), through synthesis, using a combination of novel techniques 2)To screen their reactivity using model reactions 3)To develop an approach for testing selected catalysts using real feeds from e. g. the pilot plant 4)To optimise the reaction conditions (with emphasis on the reduction of energy consumption aand waste production), evaluation of the catalyst stability. 5)To integrate my knowledge and experience in heterogeneous catalysis into the Avantium R&D environment. In order to achieve these ambitious goals, I will use an interdisciplinary approach.

« UMTRI: average new vehicle fuel economy in US in August down from July | Main | Fujitsu develops low power consumption technology for 5G » BIOFOREVER (BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes)—a consortium of 14 European companies—has started a demonstration project for the conversion of woody biomass to value-adding chemical building blocks such as butanol, ethanol, and 2,5–furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) on an industrial scale. The demonstration project will run for 3 years. The overall budget is €16.2 million (US$18 million) with a €9.9-million (US$11-million) contribution from BBI JU. Woody biomass, including waste wood, will be converted to lignin, (nano-) cellulose and (hemi-) cellulosic sugars, and further converted to lignin derivatives and chemicals. Feedstocks will be benchmarked with crop residues and energy crops. A number of pre-treatment and subsequent conversion technologies will be demonstrated, including delivering commercialization routes for the most promising value chains. Typically, such bio-refineries will be projected in logistic hubs such as the Port of Rotterdam and other European ports. In December 2015 the consortium applied for European funding under the Horizon 2020 program and in April 2016 the proposal was positively evaluated by Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a public/private partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. BIOFOREVER consortium partners include: API Europe, Greece; Avantium Chemicals BV, Netherlands; Bioprocess Pilot Facility BV, Netherlands; Borregaard AS, Norway; Bio Refinery Development BV, Netherlands; DSM, Netherlands; Elkem Carbon AS, Norway; Green Biologics Ltd, UK; MetGen Oy, Finland; Nova Institute, Germany; Novasep Process SAS, France; Phytowelt, Green Technologies GmbH, Germany; Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands; and SUEZ Groupe, France.

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