New nanocatalysts for biofuel processing

A project called Biogo-for-Production has developed new nanocatalysts to create an integrated modular and highly efficient process for producing fuels from renewable energy sources.

The researchers focused on the development of advanced nanocatalysts, coupled with advanced reactor concepts to realise modular, highly efficient, integrated processes for the production of fuels from renewable bio-oils and biogas.

The EU contributed €9 million to the project’s over €12 million budget.

‘Novel’ technology was used to prepare nanoscale catalysts with reduced dependence on precious metals and rare earth materials.

The scientists demonstrated their process chain on a small scale. The ‘miniplant’ is suited for chemicals production and can serve as a future host for modular fuel production plants. They have also run pilot-scale catalyst production and demonstrated its manufacturing potential.

 “In Biogo-for-Production, we have devised a process for converting renewable bio-oils and biogas to synthesis gas, which is then catalytically transformed to biofuels and chemical platform products. This sustainable process is independent of fossil fuels,” says project coordinator Gunther Kolb.

“Unlike the conventional Fischer-Tropsch process currently in use for producing synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, Biogo-for-Production’s process chain promises higher carbon efficiency, energy efficiency, security of supply as well as cost benefits.”

The project's findings were published in the studies ‘Energy-Efficient Routes for the Production of Gasoline from Biogas and Pyrolysis Oil-Process Design and Life-Cycle Assessment’ and ‘Metal Oxide-Zeolite Composites in Transformation of Methanol to Hydrocarbons: Do Iron Oxide and Nickel Oxide Matter?’.

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