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The Project “Biomass Efficient Transformation and Bio-refinery” Achieved Important Progress


Owing to the dramatically increasing consumption of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, and unceasing deterioration of ecological environment, the whole world is speeding up developing renewable energy, with every country formulating strategy and action plan for biomass energy development, especially the R&D and utiliazation of new-type biomass energy resources. Against this backdrop, a key National 863 Project named “Biomass Efficient Transformation and Bio-refinery”, organized by Biomass Innovation Alliance, was put into implementation. The project is undertaken by 26 organizations, including Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, CAS, Chengdu Institute of Biology, CAS, and Tsinghua University, etc. The project aims to resolving several bottleneck problems such as new biomass raw material resources development, bio-fuel gas preparation, and new biomass liquid fuel, etc. The research focuses on new-type oil-producing microorganism nurturing, biomass pre-treatment technology, and biomass degradation&efficient transformation technology. Significant achievements have already been yielded in the technology of producing bio-butanol and bio-gasoline through efficient bio-hydrolysis, and also the technology of producing fuel ethanol through speedy high-viscosity raw materials fermentation, etc.

This project has proposed the production process for bio-gasoline coupling of high temperature liquid water–extremely low acid-enzyme hydrolysis with aqueous phase reforming. This project has overcome the technical barriers of hard-using pentose during the fuel ethanol production progress and realized the directional hydrogenation and reforming of monosaccharide and oligosaccharides. After the process, the conversion of total carbon could reach 85%, the selectivity of bio-gasoline above 80% and the concentration of butanol 1.4 wt%. The 450 tons/year bio-gasoline and fuel butanolproduction demonstration pilot system have established as the first set at home and abroad and the key parameters have also obtained including kiloton technology package of synthetic liquid fuel efficient hydrolysis of biomass.

This project has created an efficient ethanol technology system from high viscosity tuber of non-food raw materials and applied this technology to a 30,000-ton production line. The decreased rate of raw material viscosity could be above 90% and the increased rate of ethanol productivity could reach once.

This project has first developed the new technology for PHA(polyhydroxyalkanoate) production using halophilic microorganisms in the absence of sterilization, continuous fermentation streams and agricultural waste (mainly cellulose and non-foodunder) in the conditions of the starch hydrolyzate. The halophilic microorganism cells could reach 80g/L, and PHA (PHB, PHBV or PHBHHx) content is not less than 75% of the dry cell weight. 10,000-ton PHA demonstration plant using this technology will be established within three years.

The project has developed 14 units of new-type biomass processing& manufacturing facilities and also 15 new technologies. In addition, it established 12 testing demonstration systems and projects, including an Oil based polyurethane polyol pilot production line, a technology demonstration test system which can produce fuel butanol 300 tons/year and bio-gasoline 150 tons/year through lignin cellulose biomass materials, and a 180,000m3 bio-gas production demonstration project. At the same time, during the implementation of the project, 70 papers were issued, 55 patents were applied domestically, 2 invention patents were applied internationally, 5 books were published, 6 industry standards were formulated and a group of masters, doctors and backbone youth were nurtured. The project also gained several awards, such as first prize of Technology Invention Award given by China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association, second prize of Science and Technology Award issued by China Renewable Energy Society, Third Prize of Beijing Science and Technology Award, and Tan Jiazhen Life Sciences Innovation Award.

Resently, the agricultual division of MOST organized acceptance inspection meeting on this project in Guangzhou. The inspectiont team fully acknowledged its research accomplishments and unanimously agreed its successful pass of inspection check.

 Biofuels Pilot Scale Test System


PHA Finished Product