Biorefinery systems use one species or one category of plants to produce bio-based products and energy. An advanced biorefinery system should be able to use different biomass feedstock as well as to produce a wide range of high-value products, in order to be environmental, economic and social sustainable and to have flexibility for changes. These can not be achieved by the "traditional" biorefinery systems, because one plant species is used and for this reason, the biomass supply is not secured and a limited range of bio-products are produced. Moreover, "traditional" biorefineries systems with one culture can not be eco-sustainable in contrast to an advanced polyculture biorefinery. Sustainability and polyculture are interrelated for the following reasons: a) the diversity of crops avoids the susceptibility of monocultures to disease and pest problems , b) cropping systems that include a variety of crops replenish nitrogen (if legumes are included) and use resources such as sunlight, water, or nutrients more efficiently and c) biodiversity is protected in polyculture. Therefore, there is a need for more eco-efficient polyculture biorefinery system. Our proposed biorefinery system uses oilseed crops, as the main biomass feedstock, in combination with other species of plants, especially, from the family Leguminosae (legumes), due to the advantages that this combination offers to the sustainability of the whole system. Also, this combination will eliminate the disadvantages that separately each crop could give in a biorefinery system. Two different biorefinery systems "oilseed biorefinery" and "green biorefinery" injected with new ideas and innovative processes will be integrated into a new advance and sustainable biorefinery system, namely Eco-BioREF, to achieve a breakthrough beyond the "business as usual" scenario. The present project is aiming at the development of a sustainable, novel, technically and economically viable biorefinery for conversion of the biomass -oilseed plants and legumes- into a diverse range of biofuels, food and high-value added chemicals. This will be achieved by overcoming the identified, critical process bottlenecks in the biomass supply chain and by improving the refining section.
|Effective start/end date||01/01/2010 → 31/12/2013|