Multipurpose Pilot Scale Biorefining Facility at Aarhus University

HTL Pilot facility at Aarhus University

In extension of the activities within the BioValue (project 2 and 6) and with additional funding for the Biobase initiative, Aarhus University has established a multipurpose facility for upscaling integrated biorefining processes.  This unique facility is located at AU’s Foulum and it allows a wide range of biorefining processes to be developed and demonstrated in kg to ton scale in close collaboration with external partners.  Existing facilities include a wide range of pilot-scale reactors, fermenters, pretreatment reactors, large scale extruders, decanters, separators etc. Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of biomass forms an overall key element in this facility and provides the opportunity to fulfil part of the overall biorefinery objective by being able to convert non-food plant/bio-material into liquid fuels and value added chemicals. In addition, biogas fermenters from pilot scale to 1400 m3 large scale is set up at the same location  together with advanced biogas upgrading facilities.

This constitutes a one of its kind pilot facility to test various biorefining value streams which allows holistic optimization of biorefining processes including energy recovery, water recycling and use of side streams.  The figure below show some of the possible process flows.  We would welcome new partners to participate in this endeavor, since we have 100 years of fossil refining technologies to catch up with and but only a few years to implement a more sustainable approach. Contact information can be found below as well.

The HTL facility was covered in the March/April issue of Biofuels International.

The article can be found here.

The entire issue of the March/April issue can be found here.