Clemens Lattermann, Jörn Viell, Gernot Jäger, Jochen Büchs, Ahmed E. Ismail, Wolfgang Marquardt, Michael Modigell, Antje Spieß, Matthias Wessling:
Modular Biorefinery for Next Generation Processes and Products (NGP²)
Bioref 2012 (Industrial Use of Renewable Raw Materials: Chemistry, Biotechnology, Process Engineering), DECHEMA-House, Frankfurt am Main, 14-15.02.2012
Limited fossil resources and the push for a more sustainable economy require new ways to synthesize and process materials. The switch to renewable carbon sources offers completely novel synthesis routes and promises new functional products to produce renewable energy and chemicals. The full potential of molecular richness will only be exploited by a combined process and product design of tailored production processes for an optimized value chain . Research on biomass processing focuses primarily on lab-scale effort which enables the fast screening of innovative process ideas (i.e., ). However, economic feasibility can only be determined if these laboratory strategies can be integrated. More specifically, there is an urgent need to consider heat integration, in-situ product separation, catalyst recycling, and solvent recovery just to name a few. Furthermore, a viable approach for implementing such processes require a deeper understanding of mesoscale phenomena occurring in the developed strategies. In this context, the objective was to establish the infrastructure and the conceptual design for the integrated processing of green and wooden biomass to platform chemicals beyond lab-scale research. A highly flexible concept, capable of considering both established process routes and latest research results, needed to be developed. To integrate batch and (quasi-)continuous steps, a sufficiently high but preferably low mass flow had to be realized. Here, we present a pilot scale biorefinery concept designed using systems analysis. The individual unit operations have been categorized into pretreatment, conversion and fractionation steps operating on biorenewables and their products. An analysis of process streams, feasible shifts and holdup volumes was performed to match the individual input and output streams. The resulting toolbox of modular unit operations offers high flexibility and easy process integration. On-line analytical methods and model-based data evaluation enable increased mechanistic understanding and the development of process control and optimization strategies of integrated biorefinery processes. This concept is about to be realized in the Centre for Next Generation Processes and Products (NGP²) lead by the Aachener Verfahrenstechnik with combined efforts of partners from the cluster of excellence ‘Tailor-made fuels from Biomass’, the Bioeconomy Science Center, and the Centre for Molecular Transformation.  W.. Marquardt, A. Harwardt, M. Hechinger, K. Kraemer, J. Viell, A. Voll, AIChE J. 2010, 56, 2228.  M. Zavrel, D. Bross, M. Funke, J. Büchs, A. Spiess, Bioresour. Technol. 2008, 100, 2580.
NGP², NGP2, biorefinery, concept, technical scale