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BIOCOUP : Producing renewable energy in existing refineries European Research Project

The BIOCOUP Integrated Project is sponsored by the European Commission and coordinated by VTT in Finland.

It aims at responding to the increasing demand of biofuels with a new innovative processing route.

Over the next 5 years, the European consortium will try to develop a chain of process steps to allow a range of different biomass feedstocks to be co-fed to a conventional oil refinery to produce energy and oxygenated chemicals.

The overall innovation derives from integration of bio-feedstock procurement with existing industries (energy, pulp and paper, food) and processing of upgraded biomass forms in existing mineral oil refineries. This will allow a seamless integration of bio-refinery co-processing products to the end consumer for products such as transport fuels and chemicals, and thus provide an important stimulus to biomass acceptance and further technological development of biomass production routes.

“We believe there are good opportunities for both new companies because of new technologies being developed, and existing companies, because eventually the biorefinery will be integrated to existing industries” says Yrjö Solantausta, coordinator of the project.

Potential impacts and benefits

BIOCOUP should contribute to creating jobs and enhancing the competitiveness of the European industry. This includes new business opportunities for the whole value chain from biomass feedstock producers (individual fuel companies, energy & pulp and paper industry) to ends users (petrochemicals, chemistry…).

Other expected benefits include the market diversification for raw agricultural and forestry products. BIOCOUP will also help strengthen the SMEs competitiveness by expanding their activities to wider markets, or developing within niche markets.

1/ Security and diversity of energy supply policies
2/ Use of bio-fuels for vehicles
3/ Contribution to environment policies:
- Reduce emissions of green-house gases (CO2 and other pollutants)
- Develop renewable energy sources, in particular promote the use of lignin, a by-product of the pulp production

audrey poget | alfa
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