Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, Umwelttechnik und Techn. Biowissenschaften
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Waste2Fuels - Sustainable production of next generation biofuels from waste streams


Wir bitten um Verständnis, dass die Informationen über dieses Projekt derzeit nur in englischer Sprache verfügbar sind.



Renewable energy carriers and biofuels are of increasing interest on our way to a sustainable energy economy. One of the most promising biofuels from a technical perspective is bio-butanol. It offers high energy density combined with low volatility and corrosiveness compared to other liquid biofuels like bio-ethanol.

Waste2Fuels aims to produce biobutanol from agrofood waste (AFW) streams as a sustainable alternative for use as a direct substitution for virgin fossil fuels.

Traditional production route of bio-butanol uses bacteria (e.g. Clostridium acetobutylicum) to transform biomass to acetone, butanol and ethanol. This mixture is then separated by distillation obtaining pure bio-butanol. The main problems of this route are the self-inhibition of the used bacteria at butanol concentration above 1.5 wt% and the high energy demand of the distillation due to the low butanol concentration. Therefore, one of the main challenges towards an economically feasible bio-butanol is to increase bio-butanol productivity and concentration as well as avoiding self-inhibition. Possible options to achieve this are innovative bioreactor concepts, in-situ removal of bio butanol and the use of modified bacteria.

Figure: Research activities in Waste2Fuels

A consortium consisting of 20 partners from academia as well as industry ensures both high quality research and focus on fast commercialization making this project a great chance towards a sustainable and renewable energy economy.

The Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Engineering (ICEBE) is responsible for the development and evaluation of pervaporation techniques for in-situ butanol removal as well as the simulation and assessment of the overall process.

Multiple membrane modules are tested for their applicability in an in-house developed test rig. Both commercially available materials, like Polydimetyhlsiloxane (PDMS), as well as new alternatives like Polyoctylmethylsiloxane (POMS) are considered. These data and results generated by project partners focusing on other upgrading technologies like adsorption and gas stripping are then used to set up a simulation model of the overall process using the process simulation software Aspen Plus®. This offers the possibility to assess mass and energy balances of an up-scaled process and chose the preferable overall process design.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654623”.