Omnivore: a multi-feedstock biorefinery

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Biology


There is a growing market for sustainable lignocellulosic bioethanol produced from crop residues and waste materials. Producing biofuels from these materials is challenging because none are typically available in appropriate quantities in a single location to support processing at the scale needed to cover capital investment. In addition, conventional processing of lignocellulosics produces fermentable sugar concentrations that are too dilute for effective fuel production, and overcoming this through complex processing or evaporative concentration is expensive. The Omnivore system will overcome the supply challenge by developing a feedstock agnostic lignocellulose processing system. Omnivore will overcome the sugar concentration challenge, by operating a hybrid system using first generation sugars to supplement the concentration of lignocellulosic sugars. The verifiable % of lignocellulosic biofuel will attract a double trading obligation credit, which will improve profitability.


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Description We have identified conditions in which all straw species can be pretreated and digested with enzymes to yield high sugar concentrations for fermentation with lower enegy and enzyme inputs. We have found that waste paper and municipal solid waste fibre do not benefit from thermochemical pretreatment,
Exploitation Route This work could underpin the development of a mixed feedstock biorefinery in the UK
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport