Suprabio - Innovative bio solutions

Declining petroleum resources, increased demand for petroleum by emerging economies, and political and environmental concerns about fossil fuels are driving our society to search for new sources of liquid fuels and commodity chemicals. The only current sustainable source of organic carbon is plant biomass. The European Commission funded the SUPRABIO project to look at development of the integrated biorefinery, addressing the need to develop economically viable and energy-efficient processes through intensification, integration and full use of waste streams. The research was undertaken by a consortium of 16 partner organisations from 8 countries, coordinated by Brunel University.

The project has generated a range of commercial outcomes, from improved biomass pretreatment and enhanced processing of pyrolysis oil, to algal bioreactors and a novel cellulosic fibre already shown to improve the properties of composite materials. Nine developments have been rated at technology readiness level 7 or above. Four patents have already been filed, with the potential for several more.

The research work has also produced notable successes. The work on sustainability analysis The research was undertaken by a consortium of 16 partner organisations from 8 countries, coordinated by Brunel University.

The project has generated a range of commercial outcomes, from improved biomass pretreatment and enhanced processing of pyrolysis oil, to algal bioreactors and a novel cellulosic fibre already shown to improve the properties of composite materials. Nine developments have been rated at technology readiness level 7 or above. Four patents have already been filed, with the potential for several more.

The research work has also produced notable successes. The work on sustainability analysis provides a platform for work in future years. Considerable progress has also been made in production of selected organic compounds from pretreated biomass using fungi and microbes to manufacture fuel or chemical building blocks. Improved catalysis and conditions in conversion of syngas to butanol has also been achieved.

The economic and environmental assessments indicate that the biofuel and platform chemical products from the biorefinery are still economically disadvantaged relative to existing market prices for conventional processes, although there are gains in terms of environmental impacts. Areas where further development is required to reduce the disparity in cost and improve the overall efficiency have been identified.

Name of Project Contact:

Prof Ashok Bhattacharya

Ashok.Bhattacharya@brunel.ac.uk

http://www.suprabio.eu