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EU Grants Funds for Isobutene Derivative Production from Straw

| Editor: Alexander Stark

The aim of the project is to convert agricultural residues (wheat straw) into isobutene derivatives for use in numerous applications.
The aim of the project is to convert agricultural residues (wheat straw) into isobutene derivatives for use in numerous applications. (Source: Global Bioenergies)

Global Bioenergies announced the signature of a grant agreement aiming at demonstrating a new value chain combining its Isobutene process with technologies developed by Clariant and Ineos.

Evry/France — The aim of this project is to convert currently poorly valorised residual wheat straw into second generation renewable isobutene for subsequent conversion into oligomers usable in the lubricants, rubbers, solvents, plastics, or fuels. The R&D cooperation for the next 48 months starts on June 1st 2017.

The agreement signed recently between the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking and the project partners focuses on the demonstration of a new value chain, based on the combination of the technologies and know-how of the participants from four EU member states.

Plans include the conversion of straw into glucose- and xylose-rich hydrolysates using Clariant Sunliquid technology, the fermentation of the straw hydrolysates into bio-isobutene by Global Bioenergies, the conversion of bio-isobutene to oligomers by Ineos as well as preliminary engineering of an hydrolysate-to-isobutene plant and overall integration with a straw-to-hydrolysate plant, by Technip and IPSB, and the assessment of the sustainability and environmental benefits by the Energy Institute at the University of Linz.

The BBI-JU, a public-private partnership between the European Union and the Bio-Industries Consortium (BIC), is dedicated to realizing the European bio-economy potential, turning biological residues and wastes into greener everyday products through innovative technologies and bio-refineries, expected to become the heart of the bio-economy.

The programme amounts to a total budget of € 16.4 million. € 9.8 million of which will be provided by the BBI-JU, with the remainder being contributed by the participants. Global Bioenergies will receive funding amounting to € 4.4 million for its R&D activities at its Evry site, its pilot plant in Pomacle/France, and its demo plant in Leuna /Germany.

Marc Delcourt, CEO of Global Bioenergies said: “This support from the BBI-JU will further anchor our European presence and our strategy to diversify resources: our isobutene process is up and running in the Leuna demo plant based on first-generation sugars. Under this agreement, we will demonstrate the suitability of second-generation sugars, such as straw hydrolysate and prepares the full-scale deployment of this new value chain.”

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