Bioeconomy Science Center
Research • Educate • Connect

Bioeconomy Science Center
Research • Educate • Connect
FocusLab AP3

Advanced Pulping for Perennial Plants: A holistic and sustainable integrated lignocellulose biorefinery concept

Scientific Abstract

The change from a petroleum based to a more sustainable and bio-based economy necessitates the development of novel concepts to maintain the supply of raw materials and energy. Biorefinery concepts for the valorization of lignocellulosic biomass are promising alternatives to secure economic prosperity combined with ecological and social responsibility. The Focus lab AP³ aims to establish a novel biorefinery concept for a sustainable processing of perennial biomass grown on marginal soils and fractionated efficiently by the OrganoCat technology. The Focus lab combines worldwide leading expertise in plant biology, chemical & process engineering as well as economy in respect to social implications. AP³ will increase the potential of perennial plants by establishing and combining new varieties and management strategies coupled to advanced breeding and ameliorating their biomass processability. Further, technological readiness of the OrganoCat technology will be elevated to a higher level by establishing downstream and up-stream processing and scaling the process up to technical scale. The whole concept will be evaluated on economic and societal figures and the AP³ consortium will ensure dissemination and exploitation of technology and products. AP³ aims at stimulating the Bioeconomy by using NRW developed technology and regional resources with a clear global and worldwide focus on innovation through delivery of novel bio-based application-targeted products to become one of the lighthouse projects for an integrated Bioeconomy.

What is the relevance for bioeconomy?

Biorefinery concepts utilizing lignocellulosic biomass are promising approaches to be a sustainable and economically feasible solution for a future bio-based economy. The integration and adaptation of perennial non-food plants into the development of efficient and environmentally friendly biorefinery will become a promising research line. In that respect, the AP³ focus lab will combine different elements of the value chain. The improvement of plant breeding and management for relevant energy plants with engineering of tailor-made processes for adaptive lignocellulose processing resulting in defined chemical intermediates. This concept is based on a novel integrated value network with multiple products such as novel chemicals and materials derived from alternative feedstocks production. It includes the design of sustainable recycles in the entire process chain to minimize ecological impact factors. A successfully established biorefinery concept can significantly contribute to the Bioeconomy of NRW and to the introduction of new paradigms in Bioeconomy research.

FocusLab coordinator

Dr. rer. nat.
Holger Klose
Head of Research | Alternative Biomasss
Institute of Bio- and Geosciences - Plant Sciences
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
52425 Jülich Germany
Phone: +49 2461 61 3334
Fax: +49-2461 61 2492


Funding period

01.04.2017 – 31.12.2020


The total budget of AP³ is 2.397.204 €. AP³ is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC and thus funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.


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Weidener, D. et al. (2020) Multiscale analysis of lignocellulose recalcitrance towards OrganoCat pretreatment and fractionation. Biotechnology for Biofuels 13: 155

Weidener, D. et al. (2020) Lignin Precipitation and Fractionation from OrganoCat Pulping to Obtain Lignin with Different Sizes and Chemical Composition. Molecules 25: 3330

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Weidener, D., et al. (2018). "One-Step Lignocellulose Fractionation by using 2,5-Furandicarboxylic Acid as a Biogenic and Recyclable Catalyst." ChemSusChem 11(13): 2051-2056