1 April 2010

Launch of the EU-Project BIOCORE

A biorefinery concept for the transformation of biomass into 2nd-generation fuels and polymers

Guy-Riba, vice-president of INRA, Michael O’Donohue, research director (INRA) and scientific manager of BIOCORE, Bruno Schmitz and Philippe Schmid (DG Research, European Commission) and Andreas Redl, Green Chemistry Project manager at Syral S.A.S. announced on the 4th March 2010 the launch of a FP7 EU project, BIOCORE, which is focused on the development of a biorefinery concept for the transformation biomass into a variety of products, including 2nd generation fuel and polymers.

Today, concerns linked to climate change and Europe’s excessive dependency on petrol are providing the driving force for the move towards the diversification of energetic resources and for the use of renewable carbon. In this regard, biomass is unique, because it is the only natural resource that can satisfy both needs, providing feedstock for biofuel production and for the manufacture of chemicals and materials.

The EU project BIOCORE, managed by INRA, will conceive and demonstrate the industrial feasibility of a biorefinery concept that will allow the conversion of cereal by-products (straws etc), forestry residues and short rotation woody crops into a wide spectrum of products including 2nd generation biofuels, chemical intermediates, polymers and materials. Through the development of a range of polymer building blocks, BIOCORE will show how 70% of today’s polymers can be derived from biomass.

To meet the challenge of developing a competitive biorefinery concept, BIOCORE will unite the forces of 24 partners who will work together over a 48 month period. Among its European partners, BIOCORE counts 10 companies, of which five are SME’s, one NGO and 12 public R&D organizations (i.e. universities etc). Additionally, BIOCORE counts among its partners a world-class Indian R&D institute (TERI, New Delhi). The BIOCORE project will benefit from a budget of 20.3 million €, of which 13.9 million € represents aid from the European Union within the framework seven (FP7) research program.

In this far-reaching project, the nova-Institut GmbH, located near Cologne, will take over the task of the techno-economic evaluation of the whole BIOCORE processes as well as the analysis of feedstock availability and supply management, including sustainability aspects, and the market research for the whole range of BIOCORE products.

Further information
For further information please see the attached press kit (PDF-file).
Updated information and publications will soon be available on a project homepage as well as under www.nova-institut.de/nr.

Source: Institut National de la Recherche Agronom (INRA), press release, 2010-03-04.

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