Omar D. Dacres
Project title: A Sustainable Biorefinery Concept via Autogenous Pressurized Torrefaction of Lignocellulosic Biomass Wastes for Biofuel Production (SUSTORB)
Host Institution: Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Host Supervisor: Dr. Sebastian Fendt
Co-host Institution: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Co-host Supervisor: Prof. Dr. François Maréchal
Summary project: There is a considerable potential for biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass (LB) wastes to aid in the diversification of the Europe Union’s energy mix. Compared to the state-of-the art, the novel pre-treatment technology of autogenous pressurized torrefaction (PT) is presented to effectively address the inherent and undesirable characteristics of LB wastes such as high oxygen and low carbon contents, low energy densities and hygroscopic nature, which are all impediments to the overall efficiency of their thermochemical conversion process. The SUSTORB project therefore aims to evaluate the technological potential and eco-efficiency of PT as a sustainable valorization technology with forestry and agricultural waste as a major feedstock for biofuel and biochemical production through several thermochemical conversion pathways, namely gasification and pyrolysis. This will be undertaken through a series of experimentations using bench and pilot-scale reactors as well as analytical techniques to physical and chemically characterize the produced fuel. Furthermore, techno-economic and life cycle assessments will be conducted to evaluate the economic and environmental performance of these different pathways. Ultimately, the project hopes to ultimately develop an environmentally sustainable and economically viable concept for future bio-refineries that produces chemicals and fuels based on waste from forest and agriculture.