This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857806

Co-processing IBCs in industrial biorefineries

Microbial oil production for co-processing in biorefineries

Italy - Co-processing IBC in industrial biorefineries

The Italian strategic case study analyses the feasibility of collecting agricultural residues and converting these to sugars via enzymatic hydrolysis, followed by production of microbial oil. This microbial oil can be used as feedstock in the ENI refineries in Gela (Sicily) and Porto Marghera (Veneto), to produce green transport fuels. Two regions in Italy were focussed: Sicily and the Veneto region; both in Italy.

Biomass availability was year-round sufficient. The INFER-NRG model, used for assessing the biomass potential in this case study, showed a 50% biomass surplus. The average total price of dry biomass for the IBC plant use has been assessed per crop type, and values  ranged in different modelling scenarios from 87 €/t to 105 €/t. Such variability is mostly related to the transport costs, which in turn is affected by the existing transport infrastructure, which is better around Veneto compared to Sicily.

Various scenarios and alternatives were considered, such as variations in the locations (decentral versus central MO production, use or sale of lignin). Depending on these choices, costs for Microbial Oil were determined to lie between 1127 €/t and 1363 €/t. It should however be noted that this Microbial Oil should still be upgraded to produce green transport fuels. Sale of the surplus lignin is considered economically advantageous for the case.

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