The CB2G and the ButaNexT project: paving the way for a new generation of more sustainable biofuels

The main goal of the European ButaNexT (Next Generation Bio-butanol) project is to test, validate and optimise, at laboratory and pilot scale, each of the individual stages that form part of the production process of bio-butanol from lignocellulosic biomass and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste at a reasonable cost.

The Second Generation Biofuel Centre (CB2G) belongs to the National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER) and located in the town of Aoiz in Navarre, has been conceived as a R&D infrastructure which consists of a number of semiindustrial pilot plants opened to the scientific and industrial community. This facility is capable of reproducing, developing and evaluating a wide range of lignocellulosic biomass and waste conversion routes, at a scale that enables the feasibility assessment of these processes. The centre started its activity at the end of 2012, making easier the transfer of results from industrial research and innovation projects to the demo stage by means of the pilot/prototype stage.

The CB2G is co-funded by the “A way of making Europe” European Regional Development Fund, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain, the Government of Navarre and CENER. Among its facilities the centre includes a Biochemical Processes Unit, a facility in which different conversion routes can be designed and carried out through the use of chemical and biological stages and using different types of biomass and waste to produce a wide range of biofuels and bio-products.

This unit is composed of the following elements:

  • Pilot plant capable of reproducing all stages of the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into ethanol/butanol or other bioproducts (from pretreatment to fermentation).
  • Semi-industrial plant with the following stages: biomass feedin, enzymatic hydrolysis, solid-liquid separation, detoxification and liquid fraction conditioning , and fermentation.

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Inés del Campo
Department of Biomass of the Spanish National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER)

Article published in: FuturENVIRO July-August 2015