Basic concept is the development of an integrated value chain for the conversion of algae- and yeast-based biomass of the third generation in sustainable aviation fuels, lubricants and construction materials. Algal biomass can be converted by thermo-catalytic processes directly into bio-kerosine. However, a direct conversion of these often protein-rich biomass quickly leads to an inactivation of the catalyst surface, e.g. by sulfur-containing amino acids. The conversion of algae in oil yeast biomass significantly lowers the protein content, which leads to a considerable improvement of catalyst durability and higher bio-kerosine yields. In the project, algae lipids are extracted and conveyed to a high quality material utilization as functional lubricants. The low-grade residual algae biomass is digested by enzymatic methods and converted by fermentation to oil yeast biomass. Residual streams of the subsequent production of bio-kerosine are used as aggregates for the functionalization of active CO2-binding construction materials. The synergies between energetic and material utilization of biomass enable the creation of sustainable product solutions with positive energy balance/carbon footprint in a closed material cycle.
In order to achieve maximum molecular and energetic efficiency, the steps for the biomass conversion are first checked and then optimized in a life cycle analysis. The use of CO2 in the production of algae biomass and novel construction materials maximizes the carbon footprint of the entire process. The technology portfolio to be developed is generally extendable to other, yet undeveloped, low-grade raw material sources such as agricultural green and biogenic household waste, which can lead to a new, diversified value chain.