• New EU Biofuels Research Infrastructure

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IFRF and 25 other organisations from Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK will be partners in Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge (BRISK), a new four year initiative from the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7).

Coordinated by KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, BRISK aims to develop a European research infrastructure for thermochemical biomass conversion – a family of processes whereby second generation biomasses (usually ligno-cellulosic raw materials) such as wood, energy crops, agricultural wastes and other biogenic materials can be thermally converted into liquids, gases and solids for production of electricity, heat, transport fuels and a wide variety of chemicals.

The three principle activities incorporated in the initiative are Transnational Access, Joint Research Activities and Networking Activities.

Transnational Access will enable European organisations, including those outside the project partnership, to send their researchers to undertake experiments on any of the laboratories offering access. The cost of running the rigs for this activity will be met by the EC’s BRISK cofunding.  

A list of participating laboratories and facilities on offer is given below.

IFRF will be offering access to its Isothermal Plug Flow Reactor (IPFR), a tar cracking unit and a 200kW downdraft fixed bed gasifier.

Through Joint Research Activities, BRISK partners will cooperate to enhance and improve the Research Infrastructure and the methodologies it employs. Topics include:

  • feedstock and fuels characterisation techniques,
  • measuring techniques, and
  • catalyst testing techniques.

Networking Activities will have IFRF work with the UK’s Aston University to provide a portfolio of networking material and opportunities including:

  • Web and paper based dissemination
  • Workshops and seminars, many based around the IFRF’s TOTeM structure
  • Opportunities for benchmarking similar process rigs
  • Strategies to enhance exchange of information through protocols for data collection and standardised database structures for data sharing

BRISK Executive Committee Member Professor Tony Bridgewater of Aston University’s Bioenergy Research Group, notes that:

“Enhancing biomass utilization without risking its sustainability is a European energy priority, and can be linked to targets for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2050: enhanced energy security and integration with other industrial sectors, such as agriculture, also play a role. Improved use of biofuels and products in advanced biomass conversion units and biorefineries is seen as a key element in achieving this goal. In recent years industrial nations have established facilities in which their researchers have addressed the challenges associated with the production of biofuels and the establishment of biorefineries. At present, there remains some fragmentation in terms of access to high-level experimental equipment necessary for achieving significant advances in this field. The BRISK project aims to overcome this hurdle by integrating networking activities in the EU scientific community in order to foster a culture of cooperation not only between the project’s 26 partners but also the whole of the European Union, since the Infrastructure is available to all in Europe”.

Ten IFRF Member Organisations are direct partners in the BRISK Consortium. They are highlighted in yellow in the list of partners shown below. This list also identifies some 47 laboratory facilities which will be open for Transnational Access under the BRISK programme.

IFRF Members wanting further information about any aspects of the BRISK project are invited to contact the IFRF Superintendent of Research Neil Fricker.

 BRISK: Organisations offering Transnational Access to some test rigs

BRISK Partner Infrastructure Location
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Coordinator Innovative combustion and gasification laboratories. Stockholm, Sweden
Åbo Akademi University Biomass fuels characterization laboratory

Dual bed pyrolyser.

Åbo, Finland
Aston University Bioenergy Research Group Fast pyrolysis, product analysis, product upgrading, biomass preparation, and synthesis reactors. Birmingham, UK
BIOENERGY 2020+ in cooperation with Graz University of Technology Pilot-scale combustion plant;

Combustion reactor coupled with a drop-tube furnace;

Fixed-bed laboratory-scale reactor;

High-temperature low-pressure impactor;

TGA-DTG-DSC coupled with a mass spectrometer.

Graz, Austria
Cardiff University Gas turbine research centre – high and low pressure combustion test rigs. Cardiff, UK
Centre for Research and Technology (CERTH) High pressure bench;

Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) pilot plant;

Hydro-desulfurization (HDS) pilot plant;

Pilot scale catalytic biomass pyrolysis unit.

Thessaloniki, Greece
CIUDEN 3 MWth atmospheric BFB gasifier and analysis equipment. Ponferrada, Spain
Delft University of Technology Gaseous multi-fuel flameless oxidation furnace;

Biomass gasification and gas cleanup unit;

Fuel cell and gas cleaning test stations.

Delft, Netherlands
ECN WOB BFB laboratory-scale reactor for gasification, pyrolysis and combustion. Petten, Netherlands
ETC Pressurized entrained flow biomass gasifier;

Pressurized spray test rig;

Vertical atmospheric flexi fuel rig.

Piteå, Sweden
Graz University of Technology See BIOENERGY 2020+ for further information. Graz, Austria
INERCO  Transnational access through CIUDEN. Seville, Spain
Institute for Energy (JRC-IE Petten) Petten, Netherlands
International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF) Isothermal plug flow reactor;

Tar cracking unit;

200kW downdraft fixed bed gasifier.

Pisa, Italy
Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) Updraft fixed bed gasifier 200 kWth;

Hydrogen enrichment modules;

Circulating fluidized bed gasifier;

Internal circulating fluid bed gasifier, 10 kWth.

Rome, Italy
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Biofuels laboratory. Trondheim, Norway
PALL Filtersystems Transnational access through Delft University of Technology. Bad Kreuznach, Germany
Paul Scherrer Institute Bench-scale bubbling fluidised bed gasifier with detailed gas diagnostics;

Container based system for methanation;

Hydrothermal biomass conversion laboratory.

Villigen, Switzerland
SINTEF Materials and chemistry high throughput screening;

Materials and chemistry biorefinery laboratories.

Trondheim, Norway
Technical University of Denmark Entrained flow reactor. Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Technical University of Munich Entrained flow reactor;

Allothermal gasifier;

Pressurized high temperature entrained flow reactor;

High temperature entrained flow reactor.

Garching, Germany
TUBITAK, Marmara Research Centre Innovative combustion and gasification with indoor and outdoor facilities. Gebze, Turkey
University of Naples Federico II Isothermal packed-bed pyrolysis reactor. Naples, Italy
University of Zaragoza Biomass commercial-scale gasification plant;

Biomass pilot scale fluidized bed plant;

Hydrothermal processing plants.

Zaragoza, Spain
Vienna University of Technology Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis;

Pressurized BFB gasifier.

Vienna, Austria
Wroclaw University of Technology Thermogravimetric analyzer/differential scanning calorimeter coupled with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy apparatus and plug flow reactor. Wroclaw, Poland