Project BIOGO

Welcome to BIOGO

BIOGO is a 4-year collaborative project supported through the European Commission´s Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies (NMP) theme. The project addresses topic 1.1-1 within this theme: Exploration, optimisation and control of nano-catalytic processes for energy applications. BIOGO brings together thirteen project partners from seven countries.

 

Project summary

The petro-chemical market in Europe faces a multitude of challenges at present: increasing competition and dependency from external sources; considerable cost and ecological pressures; supply of raw materials, their relative increase in cost; consumer demands; societal demands to reduce environmental impacts, improve sustainability and industrial safety. Industrial production of fuels must respond to these changing needs in order to satisfy its environmental, economic and societal responsibilities.
The petro-chemical industry, as one of the biggest global players in the energy sector, is especially called upon to discover innovative ways of providing novel, sustainable solutions. `Clean´ technologies are top of the agenda in order to combat pollution levels and the consumption of exhaustible resources. The radical improvements that `clean´ technologies would bring can only be achieved by a complete rethinking of production processes.
The BIOGO project contributes to this transformation of the production process that is required to realise these radical improvements. BIOGO will focus on biofuels from sustainable sources. Specifically, the advancement of the nanocatalysts used in the synthesis of biofuels and innovating the reactor technology itself. BIOGO will develop and demonstrate a miniplant including all reaction, separation and purification steps from bio-feedstock to hydrocarbon fuel. These activities will help progress the European Commission´s goal of maximising the contribution of nanotechnology to sustainable development in the energy sector.

 

Note: The BIOGO project ended 30.11.2017. This website mimics the status of the BIOGO public website at the end of the project. Further project results (especially the public final project summary is accessible via EC Cordis website (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/110962/reporting/en)

 


 

 

 

The BIOGO project

The BIOGO project intends to create a fully integrated and comprehensive process for the production of biofuels using novel heterogeneous nanocatalysts and sustainable resources. This process will be integrated with the enabling functions of innovative micro reactor technology developed in the project. BIOGO will exploit the special properties of nanocatalysts to improve process efficiency through intensification and thereby target some of the challenges facing Europe’s petro-chemical industry today.

 

Key BIOGO aims

  • The BIOGO project aims to design, develop and prepare highly advanced nanoscale catalysts at an industrially relevant scale for the conversion of bio resources to liquid fuels.
  • The project aims to develop and demonstrate a process that converts renewable bio-oils and bio-gas to synthesis gas for subsequent catalytic transformation into biofuels and chemical platform products.
  • Reduce the dependence on rare earth oxides and precious metals for the catalyst formulations applied throughout the BIOGO project
 

Principal BIOGO technical objectives

  • Develop new design, preparation routes and methods of coating nanocatalysts on innovative micro-structured reactors
  • Design and develop nanocatalysts tailored for:
             - Co-reforming or couples reforming of biogas and pyrolysis oils
             - Highly efficient, smaller scale methanol production
             - More efficient and lower cost conversion of methanol to gasoline
             - Hydrogenation of bio-oils to diesel-grade chemicals with increased selectivity and yield
  • 6-month continuous pilot scale catalyst production run that will demonstrate the scaled-up manufacturing potential for fast industrialisation
  • Integrate the entire processes chain at mini-plant scale for the production of gasoline from bio-oil and bio-gas feedstocks.
 

Objectives

The overall objective of BIOGO is to develop advanced nanocatalysts with enhanced properties, in combination with highly intensified reactor systems to enable us to realise and demonstrate an integrated process for the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels.   Within this overall objective there are a number of critical technical objectives that are targeted in the project such as


(a) Objectives related to nanocatalyst design and development for biogas and pyrolysis oil reforming

The main objectives in catalyst design are to

(1) To develop highly stable catalysts with resistance to coking for bio-gas and pyrolysis oil transformation into syngas, based on the use of nanocomposite components and reforming over bi-functional catalysts.
(2) To decrease the content of rare-earth and Pt-group metals in catalysts without deteriorating their performance.
(3) To carry out co-reforming of bio-oil and biogas using membrane reactors

 
(b) Objectives related to catalysts for the conversion of synthesis gas to methanol and DME


Main objective is the development of catalysts by various routes mentioned, which are suited for a reduced operating pressure of the process at higher tolerance to poisoning through impurities such as oxygenates by following different routes:
 
(c) Objectives related to zeolitic catalysts

Our objective is to develop new methods of catalyst preparation in an effort to obtain much more stable and active catalysts for the conversion of methanol to hydrocarbons (MTH), and to assess the feasibility of novel structured reactor configurations under different process conditions, so as to provide a potential edge over existing and conventional MTH technologies.

 
(d) Objectives related to in-situ Analysis

Our objectives are to apply in–situ spectroscopic methods to study the genesis of the real/atomic structure of nanocomposite/nanocrystalline catalysts under reaction conditions and relate it to the evolution of catalytic performance (activation/degradation).

 
(e)  Objectives related to catalyst development for the conversion of syngas to higher alcohols


Main objectives are to develop nanocatalysts for improved conversion of syngas to higher alcohols, to determine catalyst formulations and process conditions for controlling the chain length and to produce a narrow range of chain length in order to allow direct use of the product as fuel additives.

 
(f) Objectives related to catalyst development for the conversion of pyrolysis oil to higher alcohols

Main objectives are to develop catalysts for higher alcohol synthesis applying advanced predictive modelling tools, to develop intensified reactor designs using coated catalysts to effectively control the reactor temperatures during processing of bio-oils by hydrogenation. Staged hydrogen dosing into microchannel plates will be applied to improve the process performance.


(g) Objectives related to process development and Demonstration
 
Our objective is to carry out a holistic analysis of the process by analysing the energy consumption/efficiency, capital expenditure (CAPEX), operating expenditure (OPEX), both combined to NPV cash flow as well as the environmental impacts (life cycle assessment will be used). By these means the optimum size of a future production plant will be determined.  However our integration also includes a physical integration, involving a demonstration of the overall process from biogas and pyrolysis oil to gasoline using a miniplant operated with the nanocatalysts developed in the scope of the project. It will include syngas production, clean up, adjustment of H2/CO ratio, methanol/DME production, followed by conversion to gasoline.

 
(h) Objectives related to improved reactor designs and catalyst coatings
 
Our aim is to convert as much as possible of the carbon and chemical energy available in biomass derived feedstocks into sustainable fuels.  Value will be achieved by optimising the fuel quality as well as process efficiency. Process intensification and process integration will be used to achieve these aims at the same time as matching the scale of production to the feedstock streams anticipated. Apart from the catalyst development work addressed above, another innovative aspect of BIOGO is to develop new, highly compact and integrated reactor systems that will completely transform the efficiency and economics of the catalytic processing steps.

 
(i)  Objectives related to scaled up (nano-) catalyst production

The goal is to develop an economic process for manufacturing of a selected nanocatalyst  and establish a small scale pilot plant to demonstrate this process. With this demonstration line in place we will be able to produce nanocatalysts at the tens of kg-scale, over an extended campaign for 6 months continuous production.

Image gallery

Alumina coating on stainless steel microreactor
© Fraunhofer IMM

Alumina coating on stainless steel microreactor

Alumina titania coated on metal track area
© Fraunhofer IMM

Alumina titania coated on metal track area

Alumina titania coated on metal track area
© Fraunhofer IMM

Alumina titania coated on metal track area

Coated with titania gold track on sensor
© Fraunhofer IMM

Coated with titania gold track on sensor

Gold sensor blank gold track
© Fraunhofer IMM

Gold sensor blank gold track

Magnetron in use
© Fraunhofer IMM

Magnetron in use

Pt track on alumina titania coated
© Fraunhofer IMM

Pt track on alumina titania coated

Quartz substrate smooth, cr doped sol gel 3x coated
© Fraunhofer IMM

Quartz substrate smooth, cr doped sol gel 3x coated

Reduction with super hydride
© Fraunhofer IMM

Reduction with super hydride

Dark field STEM image
© Fraunhofer IMM

Dark field STEM image

EDS Fe map
© Fraunhofer IMM

EDS Fe map

EDS Zn map
© Fraunhofer IMM

EDS Zn map

Magnetron in use
© Fraunhofer IMM

Magnetron in use

Magnetron in use
© Fraunhofer IMM

Magnetron in use

Cu-Zn nanoparticle on alumina
© Fraunhofer IMM

Cu-Zn nanoparticle on alumina

EDS mapping
© Fraunhofer IMM

EDS mapping

Fe3O4-ZSM5-N5
© Fraunhofer IMM

Fe3O4-ZSM5-N5

Calcination
© Fraunhofer IMM

Calcination

Calcination
© Fraunhofer IMM

Calcination

Calcination
© Fraunhofer IMM

Calcination

News

Second BIOGO leaflet

Download PDF

 

First BIOGO leaflet

Download PDF

 

BIOGO 6 month meeting

at Warwick University, July 8th to 9th


The BIOGO 6 month Meeting was held at Warwick University July 8th to 9th, 2014.

 

BIOGO launch press release

Read the press release referring to the Launch of the BIOGO Project.
Download PDF

 

BIOGO kick-off meeting

at Fraunhofer IMM, January 14th to 15th


The BIOGO Kick-off Meeting was Held at Fraunhofer IMM January 14th to 15th, 2014.  

Contact Press / Media

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gunther Kolb

Project Coordinator

Fraunhofer-Institut für Mikrotechnik und Mikrosysteme IMM
Carl-Zeiss-Str. 18-20
55129 Mainz

Phone +49 6131 990-341

Fax +49 6131 990-205

Contact Press / Media

Ulrich Krtschil

Technical Project Manager

Fraunhofer-Institut für Mikrotechnik und Mikrosysteme IMM
Carl-Zeiss-Str. 18-20
55129 Mainz

Phone +49 6131 990-328

Fax +49 6131 990-205

Contact Press / Media

Dr. rer. nat. Stefan Kiesewalter

PR/Marketing

Fraunhofer-Institut für Mikrotechnik und Mikrosysteme IMM
Carl-Zeiss-Str. 18-20
55129 Mainz

Phone +49 6131 990-323

Fax +49 6131 990-205