• Biomass Research Projects
    Previous Projects

Below are listed the research projects that Celignis personnel have previously been involved in.

Click here to read about all our current research projects, here to read about our current projects funded by the Circular Bioeconomy Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE-JU), here to read about our current Horizon Europe projects, and here to read about our plans for the future.

"The Production of Sustainable Diesel-Miscible-Biofuels from the Residues and Wastes of Europe and Latin America"

ProgrammeHorizon Europe, FP7.ENERGY.2008.3.2.1
CategoryResearch and Innovation Action (RIA)
Period2009 - 2013
LinksWebsite, Cordis
DIBANET, involved collaborative research between 13 partners from Europe and Latin America to develop biorefining technologies for the production of advanced biofuels. It targeted levulinic acid (a valuable platform chemical), from cellulose and hexose sugars, and of furfural (a valuable solvent and fuel precursor), from hemicellulose-dervied pentose sugars such as xylose. The process employed acid-hydrolysis, at elevated temperatures and pressures, to hydrolyse the polsyaccharides and produce the targeted molecules. The project also involved the development of a novel pre-treatment process, employing formic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The solid residues that were retained after hydrolysis were pyrolysed and gasified in order to produce energy.

Dan's primary scientific role in the project was in WP2 where he led efforts to generate algorithms for the rapid prediction of biomass composition based on the near infrared spectra of samples. Particular focuses for model development in DIBANET were the feedstocks Miscanthus (highly suitable for European climates) and sugarcane bagasse (a highly abundant fibrous residue in Brazil).

The development of the rapid biomass analysis models in DIBANET resulted in Dan spinning-out Celignis in 2014.

Get more info...DIBANET

"Enhanced Bioconversion of Agricultural Residues through Cascading Use"

ProgrammeCBE-JU, Horizon Europe, BBI.R10-2015
CategoryResearch and Innovation Action (RIA)
Period2016 - 2019
LinksWebsite, Cordis, CBE-JU, Twitter
BIOrescue evaluated ways to valorise the compost residues from mushroom production. Celignis's roles in BIOrescue included the following:

- Compositional analysis of feedstocks and process intermediates and outputs.
- The development of rapid analysis models, using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, for compositional analysis at several stages in the process scheme.
- The scoping of additional suitable undertuilised seasonal feedstocks for co-feeding with spent mushroom compost in a proposed biorefinery based on the BIOrescue technologies.
- The development of new algorithms, using software such as Octave and R-Studio and involving advanced intelligent regression techniques, to further improve the accuracy of Celignis's NIR models.

Get more info...BIOrescue

"UNique Refinery Approach to Valorise European Lignocellulosics"

ProgrammeCBE-JU, Horizon Europe, BBI.2017.R2
CategoryResearch and Innovation Action (RIA)
Period2018 - 2022
LinksWebsite, Cordis, CBE-JU, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook
The UNRAVEL project (UNique Refinery Approach to Valorise European Lignocellulosics) is funded with 3.6 million euros by the Biomass Based Industries Joint Undertaking and runs from June 2018 until May 2022.

The project addresses topic 2017.R2 of the 2017 BBI Work Programme - "Innovative technologies for the pre-treatment and serparation of lignocellulosic feedstock and complex composition streams into valuable fractions while maintaining key characteristics".

It focuses on the demonstration, at pilot-scale, of the FABIOLA pretreatment process for the production of (fine) chemicals, fuels and high-value lignin applications through an economically-feasible biorefinery concept for lignocellulosic biomass conversion.

Celignis is leader of Work Package 2 which concerns the detailed analysis of selected feedstocks, with a particular focus on extractives composition, and the optimisation of a pre-extraction process that could improve the yields and product qualities in subsequent pre-treatment. Studies showed that this pre-extraction is particularly effective in increasing the homogeneity of the feedstock composition and the purity of biorefinery products.

Celignis also worked on finding key chemicals within the extractives that may warrant separation and recovery and consider appropriate means for doing this. Our work will also involve developing a suite of NIR models for key inputs, intermediates, and outputs of the process.

Get more info...UNRAVEL

"Enhance New Approaches in BioBased Local Innovation Networks for Growth"

ProgrammeHorizon Europe, RUR-10-2016-2017
CategoryCoordinating and Supporting Action (CSA)
Period2017 - 2020
LinksWebsite, Cordis, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube
The focus of the ENABLING project was on supporting the spreading of best practices and innovation in the provision (production, pre-processing) of biomass for the Bio-Based Industry (BBI).

Celignis played a key role in the project with regards to stressing the importance of biomass composition in terms of evaluating feedstock and technology suitability. We played a leading role in Work package 2 and were responsible for the development of the project's "Process Flows Platform", a web based tool that allowed stakeholders to view the regional availability of feedstocks in 16 different European countries and then to match these feedstocks with a number of suitable biomass valorisation technologies.

Additionally, Celignis contributed to the ENABLING "Best Practices Atlas" web-tool through the collation and review of a number of biomass valorisation strategies underway in Ireland.

Get more info...ENABLING

"Self-Assembling Plant-based Hydrogels Induced by Redox Enzymes"

ProgrammeHorizon Europe, INNOSUP-02-2019-2020
Period2019 - 2021
The SAPHIRE process was aimed at plant-based, environment-friendly, high-quality hydrogels for the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Such eco-friendly high quality, 100% plant-based hydrogels were targeted to be produced in an eco-friendly manner and to command a green-premium product price for the product, especially in the target markets of food, and the cosmetic and medical industries.

In the eco-friendly SAPHIRE process, enzymes help in reducing the energy and chemicals demand in the fractionation of plant biomass to xylan, cellulosem, and lignin. They also help in the controlled deconstruction of plant biomass and thereafter in the ordered assembly of xylan and nanocellulose fractions to form hydrogels with lignin monomers as cross-linking agents.

Get more info...SAPHIRE

"Value Added Materials from Organic Waste Sugars"

ProgrammeCBE-JU, Horizon Europe, BBI.2018.SO2.D3
CategoryInnovation Action (IA)
Period2019 - 2023
LinksWebsite, Cordis, CBE-JU, Twitter
VAMOS is based on the Fiberight process for the valorisation of municipal solid waste to produce lactic acid. Celignis plays a key role in the project with regards to the analysis of the solid fractions at a number of stages in the process. Our initial work focuses on the development of rapid analysis models, using near infrared spectroscopy equipment located in our labs, that allow the composition of the material to be predicted based solely on the NIR spectra collected from it. This allows the analysis time to be reduced from weeks to seconds, an approach we have successfully demonstrated to date in other BBI projects (BIOrescue and UNRAVEL) at the RIA (up to TRL-5) level for both feedstocks and process outputs.

Excitingly, VAMOS gives Celignis the opportunity to demonstrate its NIR models at a higher TRL level (TRL-7). As part of this we will install similar NIR equipment within the demo plant (which is expected to be located in the UK) and set up customised software that will allow plant operators, with no technical expertise in NIR or chemometrics, to routinely analyse the inputs and outputs of the process.

Get more info...VAMOS

"ALGAL biorefinery of biogas digestate to high VAlue fuNctional IngredientS through circular approachEs"

ProgrammeHorizon Europe, H2020-EU.1.3.2
CategoryMarie Curie IF
Period2020 - 2022
The ALGALVANISE project was designed to add an additional revenue stream to the biogas plants by producing high value products and reducing the disposal problems with the digestate. Digestate is rich in phosphates and nitrogen and also contains substantial amounts of organic content that is not converted to biomethane. The richness of digestate in nutrients and organic matter makes it a suitable feed for biotransformation (fungal, algal, or bacterial) to high value products.

Algal cultivation is favoured over fungal and bacterial systems for wastewater or digestate treatment due to the ability of algae to assimilate nutrients and produce high-value products including proteins, lipids and natural pigments.

In the integration of algal cultivation at an AD facility, a natural consortium of bacteria and algae can be established based on the composition of the digestate and environmental/process conditions. ALGALVANISE advanced the state-of-the art by developing a series of innovative solutions for separate applications in the biogas and algae industries as well as the best integrated solution for a biogas-algae biorefinery.

Get more info...ALGALVANISE

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