The agricultural and agroindustrial sector have a prominent role in the economy of Navarre (Spain), generating significant amounts of waste that can be used as raw material in a plant that could produce biofuels and other bioproducts of high added value. For this reason, several research organizations in the region have joined efforts to carry out a project for the definition and design of a biorefinery in the region of Navarra. The design is based on the one hand on specific experimental data obtained from tests in the different operations in the whole conversion route (ie extraction, fractionation, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation, etc.) and also in bibliographic references. The concept of this plant is mainly focused on obtaining products with high added value and the conversion of sugars present in the raw material. The project is divided into the following work packages: WP1-raw materials, WP2-conversion processes and WP3-biorefinery design. As a final result we want to prepare the Preliminary Draft of a Biorefinery in Navarre.
The innovative nature of the project includes the realization of the following objectives:
- Advanced evaluation and analysis of biomass availability taking into account economic, logistical and environmental criteria (energy balance and greenhouse gas emissions) using a tool based on GIS.
- Generation of the experimental data of each specific stage in the conversion route: extraction, fractionation / pre-treatment, synthesis and separation of high added value products.
- Improve and exchange knowledge and specific experience in biorefinery processes.
CENER is the project coordinator and also the leader of WP2. Its function is focused on the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. In this context, pre-treatment is one of the key stages in biorefinery due to the need to break the structure of the biomass to make it more accessible for the additional conversion of its individual components.
The project runs from May 2014 to December 2015. The consortium includes 5 regional partners: CENER (Spain) as project coordinator, CNTA, UPNa, AIN and INTIA.
This Project has been financed by the Government of Navarre and is co-financed at 50% by FEDER funds of the European Union.