Biomass fractionation

Digestion and fractionation processes for integrated use in biorefineries

The main objective is to establish processes for a biomass biorefinery in Germany and throughout Europe.

The focus is on

  • wood pulping and fractionation processes
  • alternative processing lines for oilseeds
  • up-scaling to pilot scale

In the biomass fractionation field, we develop new technologies and innovative processes for the processing of wood and oilseeds in order to use the biomass holistically and to obtain value-added products.


Lignocellulose biorefinery

The focus of the lignocellulose biorefinery is the pulping of lignocellulosic raw materials and the fractionation of biomass into its basic chemical components lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose. 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 elevated temperatures and pressures, the so-called Organosolv technique.


Oilseeds biorefinery

The development and optimization of new methods for processing of oilseeds allows a holistic utilization of raw materials and provides higher quality product fractions compared to conventional processing. In addition to the production of high-quality vegetable oils, the processing of oilseed proteins in particular contributes to increasing the added value. In addition, other valuable plant-derived ingredients derived from oilseeds are extracted using alternative extraction techniques.

Polysaccharide containing materials

We are also developing digestion and fractionation processes for materials containing polysaccharides, such as chitin from insects or inulin from chicory, in order to obtain chemical components for further material use.

Reference projects

XyloSolv – Sequential extraction process for the production of high-value intermediates from beech wood

Using a hydrothermal process, xylan can be extracted from beech wood. At Fraunhofer CBP, this process is combined with the ethanolic organosolv fractionation process to additionally extract the lignin and fiber fractions, thus enabling the material use of all wood components. In this way, xylan and lignin can be obtained in a previously unavailable high-purity quality, making applications in the pharmaceutical industry or as food supplements possible.

Duration: August 2019 – July 2021



From niche to mainstream – Alternative proteins for everybody and everywhere

Healthy and sustainable food – is this possible? The European Like-A-Pro project deals with the production of food from sustainable resources, and simultaneously the understanding of the consumer’s affections and needs that have to be satisfied to render the European dietary more healthy and in harmony with nature.