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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: LCE-20-2014 | Award Amount: 3.70M | Year: 2015

The development and adoption of renewable and sustainable energy has become a top priority in Europe, and is Horizon 2020s most prominent theme. Research into new energy methods required to reduce humanitys carbon footprint is an urgent and critical need, and is reliant upon a flow of newly qualified persons in areas as diverse as renewable energy infrastructure management, new energy materials and methods, and smart buildings and transport. Bioenergy is a particularly important field in this respect as it is at the cross-roads of several important European policies, from the Strategic Energy Technology Plan Roadmap on Education and Training (SET-Plan) to the European Bioeconomy Strategy to European Food Safety and Nutrition Policy. European development in this prioritised field is stalled due to a lack of qualified personnel, a lack of cohesion and integration among stakeholders, and poor linkage between professional training and industry needs. To address these problems, BioEnergyTrain brings together fifteen partners from six EU countries to create new post-graduate level curricula in key bioenergy disciplines, and a network of tertiary education institutions, research centres, professional associations, and industry stakeholders encompassing the whole value chain of bioenergy from field/forest to integration into the sustainable energy systems of buildings, settlements and regions. The project will foster European cooperation to provide a highly skilled and innovative workforce across the whole bioenergy value chain, closely following the recommendations of the SET-Plan Education Roadmap.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-1-2014 | Award Amount: 2.63M | Year: 2016

The ERIFORE will realize the European potential to consolidate its place as a world leader in biomass based research and innovations. ERIFORE builds on a new firm alliance aiming to establish open access distributed forest bioeconomy research infrastructure across Europe enabling scientific discoveries to be transferred to new business models, novel products and services enabling sustainable growth. The research infrastructure will focus on topics supporting Circular Forest Bioeconomy concepts starting from fundamental teaching and knowledge sharing to high level research laboratories and large scale piloting facilities. This two-year action will be carried out by 11 European research organisations, 2 universities and a SME. The main objective of ERIFORE is to facilitate development the Circular Forest Bioeconomy field towards the following overall targets: 1) Coordinate, complement and update major European research infrastructure to enable the full potential of available forest biomass in balance with diverse use of forests. 2) A new level of co-operation between the major RTD providers. 3) Establish a globally competitive European research infrastructure. The main deliverables of ERIFORE are the following: 1) To enhance the awareness, utilisation and open access of the complementary research facilities between the major European RTD providers in circular forest biorefinery. 2) To prepare a conceptual design and plan for cooperation arrangements between the main European RTD providers in this field. 3) To prepare Stakeholder analysis for the development needs in the infrastructure network at European level. 4) To upgrade bioeconomy competence base by providing contact interface for facilities for education and training. A plan for implementing is prepared. The suggested future European research infrastructure will then facilitate the development towards enhanced utilisation of renewable raw materials and renewal of established European process industry.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-4.0-6 | Award Amount: 10.75M | Year: 2009

The approach of AFORE project is to develop novel, industrially adaptable and techno-economically viable bio-based solutions for the separation, fractionation, and primary upgrading of green chemicals from forest residues, wood chips, and chemical pulping liquors to be used as starting materials for current and novel value-added applications. It is targeted that by this means European forest and pulping industry can substantially increase its profitability and overall income within 10 years with positive impact on the waste formation and sustainability of the process. The project will focus on two paths, namely upgrading the current kraft pulping process into a multi-product biorefinery concept and development of entirely new wood-based biorefinery concepts, in which the wood cellulose is exploited in value-added applications with simultaneous production of a multitude of novel non-cellulosic products. The success of the technological developments will be evaluated using different modelling and assessment tools and by pilot and mill scale demonstrations. The techno-economical evaluations will also include a thorough investigation of how the new side-stream -based value chains will affect the current end-uses (mainly energy) as well as the environmental footprint of production. The multidisciplinary project consortium consists of research and industrial partners covering the whole value chain from wood to end products. The expertises of the partners include wood and pulp and paper processing, physical, chemical and biotechnical biomaterial processing, component isolation and upgrading, sophisticated biomaterial analysis, environmental and techno-economical modelling and assessment of processes, products and business scenarios related thereof.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-RIA | Phase: BBI.VC2.R4 | Award Amount: 2.41M | Year: 2015

SmartLi aims at developing technologies for using technical lignins as raw materials for biomaterials and demonstrating their industrial feasibility. The technical lignins included in the study are kraft lignins, lignosulphonates and bleaching effluents, representing all types of abundant lignin sources. The raw materials are obtained from industrial partners. The technical lignins are not directly applicable for the production of biomaterials with acceptable product specifications. Therefore, pretreatments will be developed to reduce their sulphur content and odour and provide constant quality. Thermal pretreatments are also expected to improve the material properties of lignin to be used as reinforcing filler in composites, while fractionating pretreatments will provide streams that will be tested as plasticizers. Lignin is expected to add value to composites also by improving their flame retardancy. The development of composite applications is led by an industrial partner. Base catalysed degradation will be studied as means to yield reactive oligomeric lignin fractions for resin applications. The degradation will be followed by downstream processing and potentially by further chemical modification aiming at a polyol replacement in PU resins. Also PF type resins for gluing and laminate impregnation, and epoxy resins will be among the target products. Full LCA, including a dynamic process, will support the study. The outcome of the research will be communicated with stakeholders related to legislation and standardisation.

Sobczak L.,Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH | Lang R.W.,Johannes Kepler University | Haider A.,Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH
Composites Science and Technology | Year: 2012

Natural Fiber Composites (NFCs) and Wood Polymer Composites (WPCs) based on polypropylene (PP) have gained increasing interest over the past two decades, both in the scientific community and in industry. Meanwhile, a large number of publications is available, but yet the actual market penetration of such materials is rather limited. To close the existing gap between scientific and technical knowledge, on the one hand, and actual market applications, on the other, it is the purpose of this paper to analyze the current state of knowledge on mechanical performance profiles of injection molded NFCs and WPCs. As the composite properties are a result of the constituent properties and their interactions, special attention is also given to mechanical fiber/filler properties. Moreover, considering that NFCs and WPCs for a variety of potential applications compete with mineral reinforced (mr; represented in this study by talc), short glass fiber (sgf), long glass fiber (lgf) and short carbon fiber (scf) reinforced PP, property profiles of the latter materials are included in the analysis. To visualize the performance characteristics of the various materials in a comparative manner, the data were compiled and illustrated in so-called Ashby plots. Based on these comparisons, an assessment of the substitution potential of NFCs and WPCs is finally performed, along with a discussion of still open issues, which may help in guiding future material development and market application efforts. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Gehmayr V.,Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH | Sixta H.,Aalto University | Sixta H.,Lenzing AG
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2012

Endoglucanase treatment of pulp for the adjustment of viscosity and the increase in pulp reactivity is a promising step in the concept for the beneficial production of dissolving pulps from paper grade pulps. To promote the commercial applicability of these enzymes, the influence of pulp properties such as carbohydrate composition, pulp type and cellulose morphology on the enzymatic degradability of a pulp was examined. High contents of hemicelluloses and lignin were shown to impair the accessibility of the cellulose to the enzymes. Due to the elevated swelling capacity of cellulose II, conversion of the cellulose morphology from I to II upon alkaline treatments showed a large increasing effect on the cellulose accessibility, and enzymatic degradability. Reactivity measurements of softwood sulfite pulps after enzymatic degradation and acid-catalyzed hydrolysis, respectively, revealed elevated reactivity for the pulp after acid treatment. This is in contrast to effects of enzyme treatments reported for CCE treated kraft pulps. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

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