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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InW0ZTy5N5g
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