“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.


Attending the ICCDU23

Last 25th-29th of June, the 20th International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilisation took place in Bari (Italy).

For nearly thirty years, the ICCDU has provided a global meeting place for chemists, engineers, and environmental policy planners to come together and discuss the latest CO₂ capture and utilisation developments. The conference covers today a large number of topics spanning from biological fixation, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, electrochemistry, carbonation of waste, hydrated CO₂, Life Cycle Assessment, Integrated Processes, CO₂ enabling/sustainable processes.

Our partner Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant attended the conference, bringing the research results achieved during BioSFerA project. Stefano Rebecchi, presented a poster entitled “Acetate from Industrial Waste Gas as a Platform Intermediate” and the pilot plant at TRL5, where the two gasification and fermentation units are integrated.




BioSFerA in Spain for Biotec 2023

Last week, BioSFerA was at the Biotec 2023, the XVIII Congress of the Spanish Society of Biotechnology held in Madrid from July 17 until 20, 2023. The Congress, organised by SEBiot – the Spanish Society of Biotechnology, is an important appointment for researchers and professionals working in the field of biotechnology. After years of COVID-isolation, finally the congress took place again in-person at the at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Complutense, University of Madrid.

Jose Mª Sanz Martín from CARTIF was there to present some results of BioSFerA related to syngas and acetate fermentation with a poster entitled: “Two stage biotechnological process to produce lipids from syngas for the synthesis of sustainable biofuels”.

The poster shows the methodology used in BioSFerA for the production of biofuels via gas and liquid fermentation and the results achieved. As illustrated, up to now, BioSFerA research revelead that acetate produced by M thermoacetica from syngas can be used as promising, low cost carbon source for growth and lipid production in Y lipolytica, which can be further processed to obtain sustainable biofuels

Discover the POSTER.

CHANIA2023: BioSFerA was there

A new poster and a new conference for BioSFerA: CERTH participated at the 10th International Conference on Sustainable Solid Waste Management, held last 21-24 June 2023 in Chania, Greece.

The Conference aims to stimulate the interest of scientists and citizens and inform them about the latest developments in the field of municipal solid waste management through the promotion of safe practices & effective technologies. This year main focus was on modern solid waste technologies.

BioSFerA project and first results on TAGs lipids hydrotreating was illustrated by a poster presented by Sakis A. Dimitrias from CERTH and dedicated to “Marine and jet biofuel production via hydrotreating of Triacylglycerides”.

Discover the POSTER.

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