In the SmartBioH2-BW project, a biorefinery is to be integrated into the existing industrial environment of Evonik Operations GmbH in Rheinfelden - using industrial wastewater and residual material streams generated there.
The biorefinery is based on two processes for biotechnological hydrogen production, which are linked together:
Hydrogen (H2) and other products such as carotenoids are produced in a closed bioreactor using purple bacteria. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced as a by-product.
The carbon dioxide is fed to the connected microalgae plant. There it is bound in the algae biomass - releasing further hydrogen or other products such as proteins or lutein. In addition to binding the carbon dioxide, the process serves to increase the hydrogen yield and expand the biorefinery's product range.
The biorefinery is to be analyzed and optimized according to ecological, economic and social criteria throughout the entire planning and development process. The project partners are developing a holistic evaluation system that can be transferred to other "biofactories" and that can be used to record the relevant environmental impacts and economic relationships.