Biomass fractionation

The main objective in the field of biomass fractionation 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, as well as their 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 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”.

Oilseeds biorefinery

The oilseeds biorefinery at Fraunhofer CBP aims at the development and optimization of alternative methods for the processing of oilseeds. New processes will enable the holistic utilization of raw materials and provide higher quality product fractions compared to conventional industrial processing. In addition to the production of high-quality vegetable oils, the processing of protein-rich fractions in particular contributes to increasing the value chain. In addition, alternative extraction processes are used to extract other valuable plant ingredients from oilseeds.

At Fraunhofer CBP, new processes for processing oilseeds are being transferred from laboratory to pilot scale. Various facilities are available at the site for this purpose. From 2020, the pilot plants for peeling and ethanol extraction of rapeseed will be put into operation. A rapeseed biorefinery will be used to demonstrate a new process from seed peeling and subsequent disruption to the processing of valuable vegetable product fractions.
The flexible design of the pilot plants makes it possible to test and optimise various methods for processing oilseeds. The focus is on the future integration of alternative oilseed processing lines into the existing infrastructure of existing oil mills. The development of novel processes will not only lead to new products but also to the potential for worldwide marketing of innovative processes and plants.