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The fuels obtained from lignocellulosic biomass, such as wood, forest residues, agricultural residues, correspond to “Second Generation Biofuels”. These are an economically feasible alternative since they do no compete with the use of soil intended for feedstock and since its energetic balance is highly auspicious. The use of these residues in the agro-forestry and wood industry (material obtained from pine thinning, forest and agricultural harvest residues, sawdust, tipping, mopping up, and smaller chips obtained in the sawing and pulping processes), the plantations initial density rise intended for pulping (thinning) and short rotation plantations are the source to obtain the feedstock needed for this kind of biofuels.
BIOENERCEL consortium will develop technologies that will allow to introduce second generation biofuels to the national energy matrix. Initially, two processes of lignocellulosic biomass conversion into biofuels will be evaluated: the biotechnological and thermochemical transformation. The first one will be aimed at bioethanol production and the second one, at Bio-oil production.
The research takes place in the Biotechnology Center of Universidad de Concepcion, in the School of Biochemistry Engineering of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and Fundación Chile. The companies also support the project through an active participation of their professionals, providing relevant information for the researches development.
The I&D BIOENERCEL consortium program will tackle the subjects related to the biomass availability and conversion technologies. In order to give answers to them, there will be two big projects: biomass and bioprocesses.
The biomass project will tackle how to obtain the feedstock, which includes energetic crops and the use of forest residues from both harvest and industrial processes and considers the following subprojects:
- Plantations with woody species and perennial herbaceous for the biofuels production. (read more)
- Sustainable use of industrial and forest harvest residues for biofuels production. (read more)
- Use of native forest handling products. (read more)
- Analytic methods development and liquid second generation biofuels production process control. (read more)
- Evaluation, optimization and definition of the pretreatment process for lignocelullosic materials. (read more)
- Evaluation, optimization and definition of the enzymatic hydrolysis process for second generation biofuel production. (read more)
- Fermentation and products recovery processes. (read more)
- Biomaterials: use of co-products with added value. (read more)
- Liquid biofuel of industrial use through lignin thermochemical conversion. (read more)
- Process Modeling and Optimization, Life cycle analysis and Economic Evaluation. (read more)
- Demonstrative escalation. (read more)
The bioprocesses project objective will be the transformation of lignocellulosic materials to biofuels. It will involve the biomass transformation into bioethanol and subproducts of added value through the feedstock integral use. Most appropriate technologies will be established by means of research and development projects for the pretreatment, acid or enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation, and main product and co-products recovery stages in agreement with the integral process of production in order to find the optimal process conditions for the demonstrative escalation. It includes the following subprojects:
In parallel to this, two Investigation blocks, the Technological Transference Subproject will be execute. Its main objective is a ethanol production protocol from lignocellulosic biomass more competitive than those existing currently and more convenient to be used on a commercial scale. In that sense, our aimed market will be related to the companies that have lignocellulosic biomass or can articulate a secure supply, and wish to participate in the conversion into ethanol business. In this potential market, we can identify the three big forest companies in Chile, which are the three biggest partners of this Consortium. Of course the aimed market is not restricted only to these companies, but it will be part of the Consortium’s objective to look for other market alternatives, both in Chili and abroad.