»Biorefining of sugars through process intensification«
(Bio) SPRINT to bio synthetic resins
On June 1, 2020, the BioSPRINT project - »Biorefining of sugars through process intensification« started in an unfamiliar environment. At the kick-off meeting online, project goals and measures were discussed for the 4-year project, which has a financial volume of 6.2 million euros and in which 13 partners are researching bio-based synthetic resins made from hemicellulose under the patronage of DECHEMA.
The project consortium made up of research institutions, technology providers, industry representatives and end users covers all areas of process development and has set itself the goal of replacing fossil polymers with bio-based alternatives.
The starting product will be hemicellulose, the extraction of which from lignocellulose biomass and purification is to be optimized. After catalytic conversion and further purification, the intermediate products are polymerized to high-quality sugar-based resins. Innovative processes should be used in all steps so that the entire process from wood to resin is efficient and resource-saving.
The Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP will work in two areas. The »Biomass Fractionation« group at the Leuna-based research center provides the hemicellulose fraction from its patented Organosolv process.
The employees of the »Chemical Processes« group will be responsible for the optimized purification of the hemicellulose streams before the catalytic conversion into synthetic resin monomers. Subsequently, the purification of the monomer streams before the polymerization at the CBP is also examined. The sustainability and profitability of the developed process chain is assessed in a Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), to which the researchers at Fraunhofer CBP can contribute valuable data.