lignocellulose biorefinery pilot plant
© Fraunhofer CBP / Norbert Michalke
The pilot plant in Leuna is dismantling wood in its components.

Lignocellulose biorefinery

Digestion of lignocellulosic material (wood, straw)

The focus of the lignocellulose biorefinery is the pulping of lignocellulosic raw materials and the fractionation of biomass into its basic chemical components lignin and sugars or fibers. An integrated pilot plant is available for the investigation and development of fractionation and downstream processing technologies, e.g. for the pulping using organic solvents under pressure and temperature, the so-called Organosolv technique.

With the facility, a large number of individual process steps can be realized for the production of pulp, concentrated sugar solutions and lignin. Up to 70 kg of wood can be processed every day. The facility was designed in such a way that the material and energy cycles are closed and therefore mass balances can be determined.

In addition to the Organosolv process, the universal design of the pilot plant also allows other pulping methods of lignocellulose to be optimized on the pilot scale, for example, aqueous hydrolysis, pulping using acid or the soda process. Comprehensive analytics are available for balancing the processes. Questions in the area of thermal separation technology and extraction can also be answered using individual process units in the plant or by cooperation with the department “Downstream Processing”.