Biorefinery feasibility study



Executive Summary
  • The EU has set an ambitious target to reduce GHG emissions and oil dependency
  • The key to achieve this goal is to establish a biobased economy that focuses on replacing oil in all applications including plastics, chemicals and other materials
  • Europe is well positioned to spearhead the development of a new bioeconomy with world leading companies in the biochemical industry and strong agricultural industry
  • However, the EU risks falling behind the US, Brazil and China as the development of the bioindustry is facing a major barrier due to the lack of demonstration facilities to mature technologies and commercialization
  • It is urgent for Europe to capture the economic and environmental benefits arising from its research investments
  • There is a gap in demonstration scale second generation biorefineries focusing on the production of high value products like chemicals, materials and fibres
  • The industry is willing to invest but lacks public funding support to realize projects
  • The bioindustry has come together to promote this goal (e.g. via EuropaBio)
  • The ambition is to see at least two lignocellulosic demonstration scale integrated biorefineries within the following value chains:
    • Biological enzymatic conversion of agricultural residue, hard wood and energy crops into C5 and C6 sugars and ultimately chemicals, materials and energy. The investment would be approx. € 25-50 million per biorefinery
    • Thermochemical conversion of wood and black liquor into chemicals, materials, fibres and energy. The investment would be approx. € 150-200 million2 per biorefinery
  • To avoid falling behind the global competition, Europe needs to start demonstration activities as soon as possible
  • In the short-term the best option is to join the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) to establish integrated demonstration scale biorefineries producing both bioenergy and biochemicals/materials.
  • This will imply establishing several smaller consortia with bioenergy producers and other key stakeholders around targeted value chains
  • In the medium to long term (funding windows opening 2013) the most attractive option is to foster the launch of a tailored European Biorefinery Initiative (EBI) similar to EIBI but focused on non-fuel biorefineries in the biobased economy
  • The bioindustry along with Research Technology Organizations (RTOs) and member states in dialogue with
  • EC could establish a European Biorefinery Initiative (wider than EIBI, focused in the biobased economy) under the European Strategy for Bioeconomy. The outcome of this process remains uncertain
  • Alternatively establishing a PPP or encouraging a joint FP8 call for demonstration scale biorefineries could be viable options
  • Both PPP and FP8 are in the process of being defined and the outcomes remain uncertain
  • Previous PPPs (called JTI) have been deemed bureaucratic and are not likely to continue. The EC asks for input to redesign the PPP facility
  • Using FP8 for biorefinery investment would require an expansion of funding eligibility from research to Capex
  • The industry needs to collaborate to establish the framework for these funding opportunities
  • These funding options leave room for multiple sub-consortia to establish different demonstration facilities tailored to their demonstration needs without compromising IP
  • These consortia will define detailed technical design and locations for demonstration facilities according to their members’ priorities
  • Industry’s immediate next steps are to align on the strategy to pursue


Please, find attached below the full Biorefinery Feasibility Study Report.

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