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)

MacroFuels target biofuels produced from seaweed (© MacroFuels)

 Publications & Presentations

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

This website is part of the MacroFuels  project. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654010

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