Lignin-to-Drop-In BioJetfuels and Chemicals

Project Lead:  Alex MacLeod, NRCan, Ottawa
Lead Proponent: CRB Innovations Inc.
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec
ecoEII Contribution: $ 1,000,000
Project Total:  $ 2,515,000
Strategic Area:  Bioenergy


Lignin is a complex organic chemical compound found in wood, in the cell walls of most plants and in some algae, and processes have been developed to separate the lignin from the other constituents of  these biomass feed stocks. Furthermore, past research at the Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS) in Quebec, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the United States has resulted in the development of a bench-scale process that uses a novel catalytic technology to convert the lignin into its chemical components. Some of these components have value as chemicals and some can subsequently be converted to biojetfuels.

Project Objectives:

The objective of this project is to design, construct, commission, and operate a pilot plant that is much larger than the current bench-scale process, using lignin as a feedstock for the production of value added products such as chemicals and biojetfuels.

Benefits to Canada:

Environmental benefits will include potential greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction through the replacement of traditional “fossil derived” jet fuel with that of lignin-derived biojetfuel.

Project Status:

The commissionng of the lignin oligomers precipitation and extraction reactor started in the summer of 2015.  Lignin oligomers were produced and separated.

Installation of the Falling Film Evaporator and of the Liquid/Liquid Extraction nears completion.

Project Partners:

Ethanol Greenfield - Varennes
Université de Sherbrooke - Chaire industrielle en éthanol cellulosique