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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/K014900/1
Title MacroBioCrude: Developing an Integrated Supply and Processing Pipeline for the Sustained Production of Ensiled Macroalgae-derived Hydrocarbon Fuels
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Production of transport biofuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Biological Sciences) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr PW Dyer
No email address given
Durham University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 February 2013
End Date 30 September 2018
Duration 68 months
Total Grant Value £1,554,153
Industrial Sectors Chemicals
Region North East
Programme Manufacturing : Manufacturing
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr PW Dyer , Chemistry, Durham University (99.996%)
  Other Investigator Dr SK Beaumont , Chemistry, Durham University (0.001%)
Professor MK Theodorou , Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University (0.001%)
Dr HC Greenwell , Earth Sciences, Durham University (0.001%)
Dr V Wells , Business School, Durham University (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Centre for Process Innovation - CPI (0.000%)
Project Contact , Silage Solutions Pty Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Research challenge: Identify and demonstrate a robust and economic route for sustainably manufacturing drop-in replacement transport fuels (to use as diesel and aviation kerosene). Using innovative sources of sustainable biomass ensures continuity of fuel supply past peak oil and meets increasing fuel demands. Current 1st-generation technologies have reached the limits of available biomass feedstocks without compromising food supply/security. Seaweed (macroalgae) is a viable alternative source, but its use requires investigation, development and commercialization to provide a non-seasonal supply chain, to tackle its high water content and provide chemical processes for converting to transport fuels.Timeliness/UK Importance: The EU and UK government have set strict targets on greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation requires incorporation of 10% renewables into the supply chain by 2020. Such targets, coupled with increasing demand for dwindling oil reserves, especially for aviation and goods vehicles, make it vital in the short-/medium-term to develop a sustainable supply of diverse renewable feedstocks (current UK transport fuels use=54000 M litres pa: aviation fuel=24%, diesel=39%; 2% growth pa). Establishing routes to produce environmentally and economically sustainable transport fuels will have a direct (chemicals, fuels sectors) and an indirect (transport, manufactured goods' distribution) impact on ensuring the future of UK manufacturing industries.Project aims: To develop and evaluate an integrated supply and processing strategy for sustained production of ensiled MA-derived fuel-spec. hydrocarbons.Innovative Solution: For the first time conventional grassland ensilage methods will be used to reliably preserve MA biomass for >12 months. This MA silage will then be used as an intermediate energy carrier for production of syngas/bio-crude oil. Both hypotheses are entirely new and work of this type has not been conducted anywhere outside of the studies made by Durham/CPI/Silage Solutions. Significantly, dewatering and demineralisation are inherent features of ensiling, two factors crucial in facilitating post-gasification catalytic upgrading. The work will result in a significant step-change in the production pipeline of natural stock/cultivated MA, enabling systems integration by providing a sustained source of MA biomass of consistent chemical composition as a commodity feedstock for fuel production. Ultimately, this project will assist take-off of a large bio-fuels industry that avoids food/fuel competition for land use, does not require fresh water and makes MA biomass an affordable, preferred addition to land-based energy crops
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 19/03/13