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Results & Deliverables

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Biorefinery and biofuel production

Promising fermentation protocol for ethanol production

Promising fermentation protocol for ethanol production

A promising fermentation protocol for the production of ethanol from seaweed by meso-yeast fermentation using algal polysaccharide laminarin was established. We achieved a final ethanol titer at 4.9% (v/v) by yeast fermentation using a new strategy combining the extraction of seaweed laminarins and hydrolysis and fermentation. The pilot production of ethanol could be demonstrated, and 8l of distilled ethanol will soon be tested in a real engine.

Butanol production from seaweed

We produced 8 g/l butanol from desalted Saccharina latissima hydrolysate with addition of sugars. Glucose and mannitol were metabolized at 95% efficiency.

Production of acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE)

In MacroFuels we constructed a novel strain of Clostridium beijerinckii  for the direct conversion of algal biomass to ABE. The pilot production of ABE will soon be finished, and ABE will be tested in a real car engine.

Thermochemical fuel production

MacroFuels developed routes to produce furanics by dehydrating carbohydrates from seaweed. Producing a diesel additive proved most promising from red seaweeds via their conversion to a fuel precusor which can react with butanol to a fuel mixture. Furfural was selectively produced via pyrolysis from alginate in low yields (<2% wt). The conversion of other seaweed-derived sugars, i.e. xylose, glucose and rhamnose, resulted in very high yields of furfural (>80% mol), 5-methylfurfural (>60% mol) and other furfural derivates (>70% mol) in aqueous and biphasic reaction systems. Furfural was also successfully converted to tetrahydrofuran based fuel additives by reductive etherification with (algae-based) ethanol and butanol. A furanic fuel additive (at kg scale) produced from red seaweed will be ready for engine testing in April 2019.

1500 liter fermentor at WFBR (© WFBR)

Image 3_BIO1752 Macrofuels bottles.JPG

MacroFuels target biofuels produced from seaweed (© MacroFuels)

1500 L fermentor FBR.jpg

 Publications & Presentations

Find out more about our progress in biofuel production by browsing our publications and presentations

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