Biobased transport fuels

The European Renewable Energy Directive mandates that 10 percent of transport fuels should be produced sustainably by 2020. Via various policy measures the EU supports advanced biofuels produced from non-food crops, organic waste flows and aquatic biomass. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has been performing research into these advanced biofuels and their applications for decades.

Expertise & research facilities

To produce and use biofuels in a sustainable way, it is essential to gain insight into the entire biomass chain: From biomass production to conversion and ultimate use. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is experienced in the analysis, design and development of biomass chains, and works with partners from throughout the chain. We have specific expertise and lab and pilot-scale research facilities in the following sub-sectors:

  • The pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass and agricultural waste flows (upstream processing)
  • Fermentation (to products such as ethanol, ABE and hydrogen)
  • Production, pretreatment, hydrolysis, conversion and downstream processing of aquatic biomass such as micro-algae and seaweeds 

Thanks to our experience in biomass and biomass chains, we know which specific biobased products and energy sources can be developed from these raw materials, and which stakeholders will be interested in these products. In this way we create value for biobased transport fuels, and make the entire chain economically and ecologically attractive.

Implementing biobased transport fuels in the market

The production of advanced biobased transport fuels can only be profitable if it takes place in biofuel-powered biorefineries. Biomass can then be processed into biobased fuels, and high-quality biomass components (for example for the use in food, animal feed, chemicals and materials) can be isolated from the biomass.

Within these biorefineries, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research focuses on several important sub-technologies:

  • Alkaline, acid and mild pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass
  • Fermentative conversion of sugar fractions into ethanol, ABE and hydrogen (and chemicals)
  • The cultivation and refinery of aquatic biomass (for application in biomass products, bioenergy and biofuels)
  • Sustainable valorisation of residue flows

We work with the industry and governments around the world in various development trajectories and propositions for biobased transport fuels. Leveraging on our expertise and R&D facilities, we can provide clients with insight into technical and non-technical bottlenecks within the process. Our goal is that these advanced biobased transport fuels will eventually be implemented in the market at a large scale.