Bioeconomy Science Center
Research and cooperation for a sustainable bioeconomy

Bioeconomy Science Center
Research and cooperation for a sustainable bioeconomy
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.

 
Approach

 

APP3_structure

 

WP1: Biomass production, genotyping and phenotyping. Work package leader: Dr. Silvia Schrey

Perennial plant genetic resources will be unlocked for lignocellulosic biosynthesis and biomass production by genetic analysis of natural variants. Different plant management strategies will be established and applied to perennials to diversify the biomass production.

(Prof. P. Westhoff/ Dr. E. Pestsova, Institute for Developmental and Molecular Biology of Plants, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Core Group Prof. U. Schurr/ Dr. S. Schrey, Institute for Bio- and Geosciences: Plant Sciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH)

WP2: OrganoCat process and product development. Work package leader: Dr. Philipp M. Grande

The OrganoCat technology will be further developed towards adaptability for changing feedstock composition and optimized processing conditions. For the purification and recycling a maximal valorization towards high value and bulk chemicals is pursued. Finally, the most promising concepts will be implemented in small technical scale within the NGP² Biorefinery.

(Core Groups Prof. W. Leitner, Institute for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University; Prof. U. Schurr/ Dr. Philipp M. Grande, Institute for Bio- and Geosciences: Plant Sciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH; Prof. A. Jupke/ T. Maßmann M.Sc, AVT – Fluid Process Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Prof. A. Mitsos/ Dr. J. Viell, AVT – Process Systems Engineering, RWTH Aachen University)

WP3: Biomass and product characterization. Work package leader: Dr. Murali Dama

Comprehensive analysis of large number of biomass samples - both on plant material from the field and on material product streams of the OrganoCat process will be carried out using state of the art analytical platforms.

(Core Groups Prof. B. Usadel/ Dr. H. Klose, Institute for Botany and Molecular Genetics, RWTH Aachen University, Prof. M. Pauly/ Dr. M. Dama, Institute for Plant Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)

WP4: Product and project techno-economic evaluation and exploitation. Work package leader: Dr. Laura Carraresi

Emerging value chains will be analyzed, together with organizational and logistic changes. Relevant industrial sectors and market applications of products deriving from OrganoCat, according to potential further cascade uses, will be assessed.

(Core Group Prof. S. Bröring/ Dr. L. Carraresi, Institute for Food and Resource Economics (ILR), Technology and Innovation Management in Agribusiness, Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms University Bonn (UB). Prof. W. Leitner, Institute for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University; Prof. A. Jupke/ T. Maßmann M.Sc, AVT – Fluid Process Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Prof. A. Mitsos/ Dr. J. Viell, AVT – Process Systems Engineering, RWTH Aachen University)

 
FocusLab coordinator


Dr. rer. nat.
Holger Klose
Institute for Botany and Molecular Genetics
Plant Walls, Metabolism & Bioinformatics
RWTH Aachen University
Worringerweg 3
52074 Aachen Germany
Phone: +49-241-80-26752
Fax: +49-241-80-22757
E-mail: h.klose@bio1.rwth-aachen.de

 

Funding period

01.04.2017 – 31.03.2020

 
Funding

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

 
Most relevant publications

Grande PM, Viell J, Theyssen N, Marquardt W, Domínguez de María P, Leitner W (2015) Fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass using the OrganoCat process. Green Chemistry 17, 3533–3539.

Jablonowski ND, Kollmann T, Nabel M, Damm T, Klose H, Müller M, Bläsing M, Seebold S, Krafft S, Kuperjans I, Dahmen M, Schurr U (2017) Valorization of Sida (Sida hermaphrodita) biomass for multiple energy purposes.  GCB Bioenergy 9, 202–214.

Damm T , Pattathil S, Günl M, Jablonowski ND, O´Neill M, Grün KS, Grande PM, Leitner W, Schurr U, Usadel B, Klose H (2017) Insights into cell wall structure of Sida hermaphrodita and its influence on recalcitrance. Carbohydrate Polymers 168, 94-102.

Bednarz A, Weber B, Jupke A (2017) Development of a CFD model for the simulation of a novel multiphase counter-current loop reactor. Chemical Engineering Science 161, 350–359.

Golembiewski B, Sick N, Bröring S (2015) Patterns of convergence within the emerging Bioeconomy — the case of the agricultural and energy sector. International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management 12, (3).