Taking part at the 8th AIGE-IIETA International Conference

14th-15th of June, Turin (Italy), the 8th AIGE-IIETA International Conference and the 18th AIGE Conference on “Energy Conversion, Management, Recovery, Saving, Storage and Renewable Systems” is taking place. BioSFerA wanted to be part of the event, bringing its contributions on the biomass and bioenergy research: Giorgia Pellegrino presented the project and the Environment Park’s work on the steam explosion for the TAGs extraction and then purification for the drop-in biofuels production.

The conferences, that gathered a wide number of experts and academic all over Europe, is mainly focused on the following topics:








A joint publication: BioSFerA&CLARA projects

A new publication for BioSFerA jointly with the CLARA project. In the framework of the 31st European Biomass Conference&Exhibition, held in Bologna (Italy) on these days, CERTH published and presented the following paper: “‘A comparative analysis and assessment of Dual Fluidized Bed and Chemical Looping Gasification: Design considerations for commercial use and applicability in BtL schemes”.

The conference paper gathers the results on the gasification process comparing the two technologies, the Dual Fluidized Bed (DFBG) and the Chemical Looping Gasification (CLG), tested by the projects and gives first considerations on the technology maturity for their integration into the market. As short conclusion of the study, on the one hand, the DFBG can be considered a sufficiently mature (tested up to 32 MWth) and solid technology that is able to support large scale gasification based biorefineries. On the other hand, the favorable aspects of the emerging CLG technology (just tested up to 15 MWth) should be exploited in large scale applications as well, only after further maturation of the technology that will decisively mitigate any technical (e.g. agglomeration) and financial (OC make up costs) risks.

Have a look at the full PRESENTATION

BioSFerA’s representative: Nikos Detsios



BioSFerA at the EUBCE2023

This year the EUBCE 2023, the 31st European Biomass Conference&Exhibition will be held in Bologna, Italy. An important appointment falling every two years and gathering international organizations and companies to discuss about the biomass techonologies role in the decabornisation road.

From the 5th until the 8th of June, researchers and experts will meet at the conference with stands and exhibitions, several workshops and debates. BioSFerA will be part of the experience, participating at the parallel event “Bioenergy and renewable fuels projects for the revamping of the SET Plan” organized by ETIP Bioenergy, the European Technology and Innovation Platform, and ETA FLORENCE. Several projects will be present and will participate to the discussion on the bioenergy, renewable fuels and their role as Action 8 of the revamping of the SET Plan, the European Strategic Energy Technolgy Plan.

The event will happen on the 6th of June, 11:30-18:00 CEST, Modular 3 room.

Giorgia Pellegrino, from Environment Park, and Nikolaos Detsios, from CERTH, will represent the project, present results and objectives of BioSFerA in the panel “Syngas technologies, value chains, and market potential”. Appointment at 15.05.

The AGENDA is available at the official page of the EUBCE 2023, Parallel events section.

Event with free access, mandatory registration.


Lipid biosynthesis from oleaginous yeast

“Influence of acetate as main carbon source for lipid production via oleaginous yeast fermentation” is the title of the scientific poster presented by CARTIF at the 2nd Greenering International Conference in Valladolid (Spain), 21st-23rd March 2023.

The poster shows the BioSFerA’s research on the use of acetate as main carbon source for the production of triacylglycerides (TAGs) using the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. CARTIF, as leader of the WP3 activity dedicated to the biological step, reports methodology and results of the several trials performed to analyze the acetic acid as carbon source and the different fermentation conditions characterizing the lipid production step. Main results of this research, where also BBEPP and CSIC were involved to, is the identification of the Y. lipolytica as a promising biotechnological tool for lipid generation using low‐cost acetate media as substrates.


Jose M Sanz Martin, Researcher at CARTIF and leader of the biological step’s research activity in BioSFerA

Lipids upgrading and final product characterization

BioSFerA is approaching its last year of project and, with it, the downstream phase that will finally lead to the production of jet and bunker fuels resulting from our innovative biofuels production concept.

The TAG lipids, directly coming out from the fermentation process in the BBEPP’s laboratory, will be sent to the research team of CERTH based in Thessaloniki for the hydrotreatment upgrading. On the first phase, a dedicated TRL 3 hydrotreatment plant of CERTH, will be utilized to optimize the technology. On the second phase, the optimized technology will be scaled up in a TRL 5 hydrotreatment plant of CERTH for the production procedure. Finally, on the third phase, the products from TRL 5 HDT plant, will be fractionated under vacuum in a batch large fractionation unit of CERTH in order to separate the Jet and Bunker fuel fractions.

The downstream step’s trials are going to start within these months to last until the end of the project. CERTH will take care to show its process with video and step-by-step updates. The following pictures give a preview of the CERTH’s laboratory in Thessaloniki and the equipment used in BioSFerA:

TRL3 hydrotreatment plant in CERTH’s premises, Thessaloniki   

TRL5 hydrotreatment plant in CERTH’s premises, Thessaloniki

Large fractionation unit for the separation of the jet and bunker fractions from the total liquid product (Hydrotreatment unit at TRL5, CERTH’s premises in Thessaloniki)


March 2023: the BioSFerA pilot plant integration is starting!

Last updates from the BioSFerA’s pilot plant: after 2400 km over land and sea, the fermentation unit is now arrived in Finland.

The previous months steel mill manufacturer Arcelor Mittal Ghent was host to the Bio Base Mobile Pilot Plant (BBMPP), the fermentation mobile plant designed and constructed by Bio Base Europe Pilot. Now, in the framework of BioSFerA, the objective is to integrate the BBMPP with VTT’s gasification unit. BBEPP and VTT will be responsible of integrating the BBMPP with VTT’s facilities, followed by optimization of the operational parameters of the pilot process. Main objective is the scaling-up of the BioSFerA concept and the production of acetate via the gasification process and the following double-stage fermentation step.

For the rest of the year, the pilot scale process will be operated in collaboration between VTT’s and BBEPP’s engineers, until the finalization of the trials end of 2023.

Curious about the shipping process of the pilot plant? After the uncoupling of the unit from the steel mills off-gases supply and decommissioning of the other utilities, the BBMPP was shipped to Finland for a 2 weeks journey over roads and sea. The unit has just arrived at the Bioruukki site to start the first integration steps.

Some pictures of the BBMPP journey to the VTT’s premises:

BBMPP at Arcelor Mittal’s site during decomissioning.

Bio Base Mobile Pilot Plant arrival at the Bioruukki VTT’s site of installation.


More pictures and videos on the BBMPP’s journey to Finland here.

Alternative Aviation Fuels/Pathways: A Critical Review from CERTH

Recent Advances on Alternative Aviation Fuels/Pathways: A Critical Review” is the new scientific paper published by our coordinator CERTH on the Energies journal (MDPI).

The paper is a critical summary of the current alternative aviation fuels/pathways and a comparative analysis of the dominant technologies considering techno-economic assessment, environmental evaluation, and future projections. Final considerations are also performed on the policy framework aiming to promote and boost all the SAFs in industry. Reading recommended!


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/en16041904

Innovation Days 2023 in Greece

A new opportunity for BioSFerA to be introduced to the Greek stakeholders’ community: CERTH participated with its own stand in the Innovation Days 2023 exhibition held in the region of Western Macedonia Greece under the auspices of the Prefecture of Western Macedonia.

From 7th until 9th of February, the exhibition gathered the entire research community of the region as well as top companies of the Greek energy sector. The CERTH team presented the project and its outcomes focusing on future replication in the region. Some pictures of the event:

Presenting BioSFerA at the Biomass Day 2023

Today, the Biomass Day 2023 event is taking place in Athens. The Greek conference is dedicated to the bioenergy role in the energy crisis and gathers public authorities and main scientific community representatives to deal with this topic.

Considering the Russia-Ukraine war and global geopolitical conflicts, it is always increasingly difficult to operate bearing in mind the decarbonization and climate neutrality European goals, as set by the Green New Deal and the Fitfor55 plan. The conference guides the discussion on the active role of the bioenergy in our economy to answer some questions: how can the contribution of bioenergy in the expansion and diversification of EU energy sources be easily and consistently ensured through the “RePowerEU” project? Is there a possibility in Greece and the EU of a more substantial energy use of biomass to alleviate the unsustainable energy costs of industries, commercial companies /services and households?

BioSFerA partecipates at the debate having our coordinator Konstantinos Atsonios (CERTH) as representative and handling a presentation on “Gasification technologies for the production of liquid and gaseous biofuels and their contribution to sustainable transport”.

For the full presentation (in greek) CLICK HERE.


Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery Journal: a new paper on BioSFerA

The CERTH team published a new scientific paper resulting from the development of the BioSFerA’s concept. The publication, entitled “Design considerations of an integrated thermochemical/biochemical route for aviation and maritime biofuel production“, describes the conceptual design of the novel integrated thermochemical-biochemical BtL process performed in our project.

The process design has been analysed considering three different operational scenarios examined and assessed mainly through overall performance indicators: carbon utilization (CU), energetic fuel efficiency (EFE), liquid fuel mass yield, and overall energetic/exergetic efficiency. As outlined in the study, design considerations and their impact on process efficiency were performed within the assumed scenarios, including parameters such as internal/external hydrogen securement via pressure swing adsorption (PSA)/water electrolysis and oxy-/air-acetate fermentation as well as autothermal/allothermal operation of the catalytic reformer. Aim of the study is also the definition of the key process specifications and the evaluation of the proposed concept compared to other competitive technologies.

To have a full overview of the BioSFerA process design, explore the entire article, free available in the Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery Journal (Springer) and in our Publications section.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13399-023-03754-4