Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Self-sustainable biorefinery for biomass conversion

Bio-charBioethanolBiomass conversionBiomethanolBiorefinery


The invention concerns a new biorefinery scheme for the conversion of second-generation lignocellulosic biomass (e.g. public green cuttings, pomace, poplar trees and arundo from marginal lands) into products of high added value such as bioethanol and biomethanol.

Technical features

After pretreatment, the biomass is pyrolyzed, gasified or hydrolyzed. Pyrolyzed biomass makes it possible to produce bio-oil and bio-char. The gasified biomass allows to obtain thermal and / or electrical energy and bio-syngas (a mixture of H2/CO). The bio-syngas can subsequently be converted into hydrogen by purification / conversion processes, in energy by efficient combustion processes, in green diesel, monomers and polymers by means of gas-to-liquid synthesis processes and in bio-methanol by catalytic synthesis. Subsequently the bio-methanol can be converted to further products by traditional chemical processes. Hydrolyzed biomass allows the extraction of polyphenols, the production of xylitol by fractionation and fermentation of the C5 sugar fraction, the production of C5/C6 sugars and lignin by hydrolysis processes; lignin is conveyed to combined gasification processes, sugars lead to the production of oligomers and butene through bioethanol oligomerization processes through fermentation processes already in use for first generation biorefineries and biogas through anaerobic digestion of waste. The digestate is given to the combined gasification line.

Possible Applications

  • Bioenergy production;
  • Biochemicals;
  • Organic / lignocellulosic disposal.


  • Energy and environmental self-sustainability;
  • Obtaining high added value products;
  • Total conversion of biomass without processing waste;
  • Possibility of renewing traditional industrial sites currently being abandoned or in partial use of nominal production capacities.