Relevance of Advanced Biomass Value for economy, science and society

The project Advanced Biomass Value (ABV) is of great relevance for several sectors of the economy, for gain of scientific insight and for a sustainable society. In ABV pioneering innovations should be initiated, which don't only aim for a sustainable energy supply, but also focus on the integrative utilization of the total biomass used. Therefore, the project partners deal with questions in areas as diverse as aviation fuels, lubricants and construction materials, basic technologies as well as lipid extraction processes and life cycle analyses. Due to this broad base, it should be possible for the partners to establish a biorefinery free of residual or waste streams.

Following areas are processed directly in ABV:

  • Basic technologies: In Advanced Biomass Value the academic project partners identify optimal algae strains as well as fat yeast strains and develop new bio-based technologies for algae lipid modification and for biomass hydrolysis. Furthermore, they optimize procedural aspects of the technical cultivation of algae and yeast strains and develop new processes for the direct conversion of biomass into bio-kerosine.
  • CO2-based lipid extraction methods: Methods - developed in ABV - for the extraction of lipid-containing, aqueous biomass facilitate new energy- and mass-efficient processes for biomass extraction, because previous drying of the biomass is not necessary. By acquiring the new CO2 extraction process, the production of biofuels from algae biomass as well as the extraction of terpenes and pigments from plant biomass is undergoing a fundamental change.
  • Aviation fuels: To date there are no alternatives to petroleum-based jet fuel for the aviation industry. The availability of vegetable oils and fats on the one hand does not suffice the needs of the aviation industry and on the other hand competes with food production. In contrast, the ABV project provides an innovative and new possibility based on algae biomass.
  • Construction materials: The construction materials industry is looking for new materials that offer alternatives to conventional cements by energy and CO2-saving production methods. Therefore, in ABV, CO2-binding construction material product lines should be developed from residues of the lipid extraction with similar physical properties as conventional cement and clinker.
  • Lubricants: The demand for lubricants in 2007 was around 42 million tonnes, which were used mostly as machine and hydraulic oils. Algae oils and biotechnology functionalized lipids resulting from the ABV project offer development opportunities for innovative product lines, which are based on renewable natural resources instead of fossil sources. Thus, possible application areas of certain lipid fractions should be explored in the lubricants sector.
  • Life cycle and process analysis: The development of an alternative fuel production pathway always has to take place with a view to future commercial implementation. The process analyzes provide on the one hand a basis for evaluation in form of a life cycle analysis, and consequently an accounting of all material and energy flows of the whole process chain, as well as an economic examination. And on the other hand, the evaluation of the new methods should - in comparison to other, alternative production pathways for aviation fuels as well as to conventional kerosine - examine the sustainability and profitability of the new method.