BioSFerA Final Event: Setting the course for aviation and marine fuels for the transport of tomorrow

In this global context of energy transition, the EU-funded project BioSFerA  provides a sustainable solutiofor jet and bunker biofuels production. The innovative and cost-effective model in which biogenic residues and wastes are valorised to obtain high quality advanced biofuels for aviation and maritime transport represents a valid sustainable alternative to common fossil fuels.

After four years of research, BioSFerA Consortium is ready to present results and potentiality of its technology solution to the industries representatives into a final public event entitled “Setting the course for aviation and marine fuels for the transport of tomorrow”.

The BioSFerA final event will be held at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) facilities in Brussels on next 20th of March 2024.

After the introduction to BioSFerA and its technology, the role of the advanced biofuels in the decarbonisation strategy of the transport sectors and the market potentiality of the BioSFerA model will be discussed into a round table with biofuels value chain players coming from industry and research.

Let’s meet each other at the BioSFerA Final Event: REGISTRATION OPEN.
Location: CSIC’s facilities, 62 Rue du Trône 1050 Ixelles Belgium
Format: hybrid (link provided after registration)



09:00 – 09:15 Attendees’registration

09:15 – 09:30 Welcome and Project Overview

09:30 -10:15 Biomass and waste valorisation: innovative model for EU waste conversion

10:15 – 10:30 Coffee break

10:30 – 11:15 BioSFerA’s scaling up for jet-fuel and marine diesel production

11:15 – 12:15 Biofuels market potential and EU energy transition (round table)

12:15 – 12:30 Wrap-up and conclusions

12:30 Light lunch offered to the attendees

Download the FULL AGENDA (draft)






Project Coordinator CERTH hosts the BioSFerA Consortium in Thessaloniki

Another successful meeting for BioSFerA and its Consortium: project coordinator CERTH has hosted the last General Assembly of this year at their premises in Thessaloniki. The project is getting closer to the end and this meeting was the occasion to make the current state of play of activities and achievements.

The Consortium proceeds with the last efforts on the biological process of lipids production at laboratory scale: new tests have been performed making use of new modified Y. lipolytica strains realised to further investigated the TAGs lipids production. For instance, glycerol, glucose as carbon sources or a combination of them in a co-feeding fermentation condition were used. Steps forwards have been also done on the TAGs extraction process, the last step of the BioSFerA concept before the hydrotreatment and final biofuels production. BBEPP and ENVI have explored different innovative pathways, performing several tests on the Y. lipolytica broth by using the enzymatic treatment, steam explosion or the combination of both of them. Further trials will lead to the best TAG purification pathway for the scaling up in the next months.

Tests are still running for the syngas fermentation pilot plant installed in VTT’s premises (Biorrukki site), where different gas cleaning strategies and fermentation tests have been performed in order to optimize the integration of the thermochemical part (gasifier) with the biological part (gas fermentation) in terms of productivity and cost reductions . Meanwhile, CERTH’s team is working on the hydrotreatment tests for the jet and marine diesel fuel production on both TRL3 and TRL5. Different catalytic systems have been studied and the optimum hydrotreatment operating conditions that lead to high diesel and jet yields were selected for the TRL5. The expected production of one barrel jet and one barrel marine fuel will appropriately formalize the end of the project. Preliminary samples of the final products were available at CERTH’s premises. An interesting video, showing the research activities on the hydrotreatment were also realized by CERTH and available on the YouTube page of the project:

Taking into account all the performed experimental/pilot activities, the integrated configuration of the commercial BioSFerA value chain was elected and the corresponding Process Flowsheet Diagram (PFD) along with the calculated Heat & Mass balances were presented by CERTH to the entire Consortium. The exact industrial layout and cost engineering of the commercial concept will be provided by Sumitomo SHI-FW in co-operation with BBEPP, KPRT, and CERTH. The preliminary techno-economic evaluation of the concept implies sustainability and financial competitiveness when compared to already certified Biomass-to-Liquid (BtL) technologies (Fischer-Tropsch, Alcohol-to-Jet). Similar to other technologies that target advanced feedstock, capital investment and feedstock costs seem to be the main cost-drivers of the BioSFerA process as well. The results of the complete techno-economic assessment of the BioSFerA concept will be reported by the end of the project. Meanwhile, LCC, s-LCA, and safety studies are proceeding at further support to these first interesting results of the BioSFerA concept uptake. Based on these results, a TRL9 Roadmap will also be an important step for the BioSFerA follow-up and concept exploitation.

BioSFerA Consortium is facing up the last project months. Important efforts will involve the partners in the last technical activities, as well in the dissemination of the results achieved. A final event is expected to be organized next spring 2024 in Brussels. The entire BioSFerA Consortium looks forwards to meet all people interested on the sustainable future of marine and aviation transport.

The BioSFerA Consortium at CERTH’s premises, 7th GA meeting

BioSFerA at CERTH Thessaloniki laboratory visit


BioSFerA hydrotreatment process: a step forwards to our drop-in biofuels

BioSFerA project is approaching last months of its journey and within it, a new and important activity is closing the loop of its research.

The hydrotreatment process represents the final step of the innovative BioSFerA model, based on the combination of a gasification and double-stage fermentation process. Main objective is the upgrading of the extracted TAGs lipids into liquid biofuels. In this new technical video, two levels of research, a small-scale pilot plant (TRL3) and a TRL5 pilot plant, are showed. This is a step forwards for the production of alternative sustainable fuels for aviation and maritime transports.

Experimental activities and video have been realised by CPERI (Chemical Process and Energy Resource Institure) of CERTH (The Centre for Research & Technology, Hellas), BioSFerA project coordinator.



Scaling-up the integrated syngas fermentation pilot process

Following the successful integration of the gasification plant and gas fermentation mobile plant at VTT Bioruukki pilot center (Espoo, Finland), VTT and Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BBEPP) started the piloting activities last May. The campaigns focused mainly on feeding different purity-grade real syngases to the microorganism to test the effect of impurities on the production of acetate.

Process intensification trials ended in October.

After that, the pilot plant was decommissioned and started its way back to Belgium at the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant’s premises.

Some pictures of BioSFerA Consortium visiting the pilot plant at VTT last May.



Find us in ECOMONDO

Even this year, BioSFerA attends to ECOMONDO, the famous international fair and exhibition on green technology held in Rimini (Italy) from 7th to 10th of November.

Ecomondo, the ecological transition ecosystem, is the place for industry, stakeholders, policy makers, opinion leaders and local authorities to meet and talk. It brings together and systemises the key elements that define the development strategies of the European Union’s environmental policy.

BioSFerA is there with the following activities:

  • Workshop with EU project PYROCO2, 8 November, 2-5:30 pm, Camelia Room, 1st floor Pav. B6. An exploitation workshop on “Demonstrating sustainable value creation from industrial CO2 by its thermofilic microbial conversion into acetate”.
    Speaker for BioSFerA: Stefano Rebecchi, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant.
    Link to the session:
  • Poster session exhibition, 7 November, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, Sala Tiglio pad. A6. Poster realised by Giorgia Pellegrino from Environment Park,bringing results achieved in the steam explosion tests for the TAGs lipids extraction.
    Link to the session:


BioSFerA was present at POLLUTEC, the international fair on environment and energy.

POLLUTEC took place from 10th to 13th of October in Lyone Eurexpo, France, as a showcase of innovative solutions and good practices, dedicated to industry, cities and territories.

Our partner Environment Park was there with a stand presenting EU projects, BioSFerA included. Here some pictures of the BioSFerA attendance to the exhibition:



BioSFerA in the Synergy Info Pack by CORDIS

BioSFerA Project is one of the 33 EU-funded projects managed by CINEA – European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency to advance Europe’s clean energy transition. CORDIS has now published a synergie brochure with the collection of all funded projects involved into the decabornisation and Clean Energy transition goals of Europe.

Discover BioSFerA in the SYNERGY INFO PACK.


“Piloting of gasification and gas fermentation plants: BioSFerA Project” is the title of the article dedicated to BioSFerA where Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant and VTT explain the pilot plant activity to the newsletter’s community of EERA, the European Alliance for excellent research in sustainable bioenergy. 


BioSFerA’s Consortium gathers in Helsinki and visits the project’s pilot plant at VTT

Last May the BioSFerA international partnership met for its 6th General Assembly in Helsinki to discuss the activities of this final year of the project. It was an important opportunity to visit the project’s pilot plant, starting to appreciate concretely the BioSFerA concept scaling-up to TRL5. The General Assembly was the opportunity for the entire Consortium to see tangible results with the visit to the BioSFerA’s pilot plant located in Bioruukki: the Bio Based Mobile Plant (BBMPP), the fermentation unit, arrived at VTT end of March 2023 and the piloting activities were due to start one month later.

As a first topic of discussion, some updates on the biological research and tests on bacterial strains: during the visit of the researcher Elodie Vlaeminck from BBEPP to CSIC premises, further steps were achieved in the Y. lipolytica analysis with the production of 6 new strains, showing good performance at lab scale and giving, therefore, promising performance in bioreactors. BBEPP with ENVIPARK, based on the insights gained in relevant experimental trials, presented a scalable protocol for TAG isolation. The main challenges of the downstream process appear to be the robustness of the cells. The choice between high-pressure homogenization and steam explosion for the cell-breaking stage will have to be made following some economic considerations. For a more accurate data, ENVIPARK will also send the samples to a university to evaluate the cell disruption efficiency.

At the same time, BBEPP already sent an oil sample to CERTH for the lipids upgrading and quality analysis. For this latter, the activity has been undertaken by CERTH since last March with a first test on BioSFerA’s microbial oil simulation using blends of vegetable oils, useful to carry on a comparison with future lipids produced by the pilot plant.

The gasification process modelling is well proceeding thanks to SFW and CERTH efforts on the EMMS model, while the scaling up of the BioSFerA concept is based on the latest pilot and laboratory results. The updated Heat & Mass balances of the commercial BioSFerA concept will be the basis for the election of the most suitable industrial layout and subsequently for the techno-economic assessment of the technology. The beneficial environmental impact of the BioSFerA concept was validated by the LCA analysis reporting significant GHG emission savings ranging from 48% to 86% compared to conventional fossil fuels. On the market side assessment, KPRT and GF continue to study the prices evolution, as well as regulations and possible future projections on shipping and aviation fuels selling trends.

From the dissemination side, BioSFerA was well promoted by using a new official project video presented last December, available on the website page and on the YouTube channel as well. New opportunities of results dissemination and exploitation were also discussed. Several events, projects synergies came out in order to be ready for the final year of project, starting from the participation to POLLUTEC, the ecological and energetic transition fair in October (France) and to ECOMONDO, the green technology fair to be held in November in Italy. BioSFerA will actively attend the conferences thanks to the partner’s booths and presentations.

Several tests and experiments are planned for the next months in order to be discussed at the next General Assembly, this time at the CERTH’s premises in Thessaloniki next October.

The BioSFerA Consortium at VTT’s premises, 6th GA meeting


BioSFerA integrated pilot plant at Bioruukki site (VTT)

EUROPACAT2023: BioSFerA is there!

From the 27th of August until today, 1st of September 2023, the 15th European Congress on Catalysis (EUROPACAT) is ongoing in Prague: a biannual congress dedicated to the studies in the field of catalysis, related industrial areas and beyond. This year, the congress is held in the Prague Congress Centre, Prague, Czech Republic.

Sakis Sakis Dimitriadis from CERTH brought there BioSFerA with a poster and oral presentation on “Triacylglycerides to marine and jet biofuel via hydrotreating”. The work shows the results of the TAGs upgrading via hydroprocessing targeting jet- and bunker-like biofuels achieved during the project. The analysis focuses on the optimisation of the operating parameters, highliting the importance of temperature and pressure and how they could influence the TAGs upgrading. Overall, the choice of the optimum operating parameters is very important and depends first of all from the targeted products (bunker or jet range biofuels).
Discover more here.