Improve biorefinery operations through process intensification and new end products - BioSPRINT

  • Horizon 2020 (H2020-BBI-JTI-2019)

Project description

BioSPRINT applies process intensification in the context of biorefining operations, so as to improve the efficiency of the purification and conversion of sugars from the hemicelluloses fraction of lignocellulosic biomass and to enable their transformation into new bio-based resins for substituting fossil based polymers in a range of applications. The ultimate objective is to lead to a reduction in operation costs, feedstock and energy resources, greenhouse gas emissions and higher yields, while increasing operation safety, by concentrating on technologies which can intensify processing methods and create an integrated biorefinery concept.

Of particular interest in BioSPRINT is the valorisation of hemicelluloses streams derived from hard wood and straw, from processes employed in the production of paper pulp or biofuels. With regards to processing technologies, BioSPRINT will focus on 4 activity areas (a) Upstream purification; (b) Catalytic conversion; (c) Downstream purification and (d) Polymerisation. The project will develop and validate an intensified and integrated purification strategy leveraging innovative anti-solvent precipitation and membrane separation methods, novel intensified and integrated catalytic processes for dehydration of C5 and C6 hemicelluloses sugars into monomers, extractive-reaction methods to isolate the reaction products from the reaction medium in situ, heterogeneous catalysts and an intensified polymerisation process for furan-based derivatives. Cross-cutting activities will cover process simulation and optimisation, an integrated lifecycle sustainability assessment, standardisation, dissemination and exploitation activities.

Environmental and Chemical Engineering Research Unit participates to the hybridisation of separation techniques in upstream purification, application of machine learning tools for heterogeneous catalyts sythesis, and development of process simulation tools for the intensified processes. Together with Industrial Engineering and Management Research Unit, we also participate to process safety assessment.

More information:


Dechema Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie, Germany

AEP Polymers, Italy

Dynamic & Security Computations, Spain

eBOS Technologies, Cyprus

Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschung, Germany

IFEU - Institut fur Energie und Umweltforschung Heidelberg, Germany

IRIS Technology Solutions, Spain

Kemijski Institut, Slovenia

Maturus Optimi, Netherlands

Prefere Resins, Germany

University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

University of Oulu, Finland

UPM, Finland


Markku Ohenoja

Postdoctoral researcher