BioSFerA

Innovative energy conversion technologies for the generation of sustainable aviation and marine biofuels

Business Period Project Coordinator Funding scheme
Energy April 2020 - March 2024 Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas H2020-EU.3.3.3.

Challenge

More than 4 billion passengers travelled by plane in 2018 according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual review of 2019. The increasing demands of air traffic leads to increasing demands of aviation fuels (jet fuels) making the airline sector responsible for 3% of the total current GHG emissions.

At the same time, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimated that international shipping in 2012 accounted for 2.2% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

BioSFerA has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 884208 to develop biofuels through innovative conversion technologies with reduced energy consumption.

In particular, BioSFerA introduces a novel concept for the next generation sustainable aviation and marine biofuel synthesis combining one of the most promising gasification technologies, Dual Fluidized Bed Gasification, and a 2-step biological gas-to-liquid process for the effective and low-cost microbial oil production. The retrieved lipids, in turn, will undergo proper catalytic hydtrotreating targeting to a mixture of hydrocarbons that is capable of application in aviation and marine engines (drop-in biofuels).

Approach

In the framework of BioSFerA, RINA is mainly responsible for the sustainability (techno-economic, environmental, social) and Health & Safety issues related to the project innovation, which means:

  • performing an assessment of the BioSFerA concept from an environmental, economic and social point of view;
  • performing a techno-economic assessment of the proposed processes aimed at quantifying the expected economic profitability of the demonstrated processes, followed by a sensitivity analysis on key economic variables;
  • making a preliminary market study and definition of the measures and strategies towards the standardization of the products and processes developed along the project;
  • conducting all the necessary health & safety studies, aiming to substantiate possible risks during the upscaling of the processes and proposing mitigation plans.

Moreover, we are also in charge of the development of the replication guidelines from a market and regulation/HSE perspective.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the superiority of BioSFerA method in terms of cost and bio-synthesis efficiency, lies on the advantageous specifications needed for syngas fermentation compared to the conventional thermochemical pathways which require purification systems and pressurized components.

In this way, the project will:

  • improve performance of renewable fuels for aviation and shipping regarding the energy efficiency and the environment;
  • allow the achievement of European leadership in the area of renewable fuels for aviation and shipping.

Project Consortium

1. ETHNIKO KENTRO EREVNAS KAI TECHNOLOGIKIS ANAPTYXIS 2. Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy 3. FUNDACION CARTIF 4. BIO BASE EUROPE PILOT PLANT VZW 5. AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS 6. KUWAIT PETROLEUM RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY BV 7. RINA CONSULTING SPA 8. SUMITOMO SHI FW ENERGIA OY 9. SEANRG BV 10. NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS - NTUA 11. PARCO SCIENTIFICO TECNOLOGICO PER LAMBIENTE ENVIRONMENT PARK TORINO SPA

Stefano Barberis