Unique PILot infrastructure for innovative catalytic biorefinery of Lignocellulosic material to functional bio-ARomatics.



At this moment world-class expertise in the field of “bio-aromatics production from lignocellulose” is present in Flanders. The applicability of the investigated technologies for the conversion of wood and lignin into biobased aromatics has been proven at lab scale (TRL 4). The demonstration of available conversion technologies at relevant scale (TRL 5-6) is hence the next essential step. Yet suitable process equipment for technology development at higher TRLs is absent and requires a unique custom-made set-up differing from state-of-the-art infrastructure.

PILLAR targets the realization of a unique pilot infrastructure platform for innovative catalytic biorefinery of wood and lignin, and by extension any lignocellulosic material, into functional biobased aromatics. PILLAR will focus on (1) a 100 L batch reactor (TRL 5) for ‘lignin-first’ technology (PILLAR I) and (2) extension of the LignoValue Pilot catalytic reactor with a multi-purpose feed dissolver and solid feed injection (TRL 6) able to treat both lignin and wood (PILLAR II). 

The R&D program is set-up to solve specific questions related to scale-up, e.g. mixing and handling of a lignocellulose slurry, catalyst stability and solvent recycling. In this way, PILLAR contributes with necessary technological and economic proof-of-concept data to pave the way towards an industrialscale catalytic biorefinery, transforming biomass into competitive chemicals and materials, resulting in a significant CO2 capture.

Project details

Project type
LSI Project
Research trajectory
Project status
Approved on
Project date
€1 999 848

Project Partners