ProBioRefine: KAIST and DTU collaborate in biorefinery
A new initiative on biorefinery, the ProBioRefine project has been launched recently at DTU (Chemical & Biochemical Engineering) and KAIST (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering) with funding from various sources. The ProBioRefine project brings together highly qualified researchers from DTU and KAIST to develop a very import aspect of biorefineries, namely, the optimal processing route (network) for the conversion of specific biomass into a set of desired products (fuels & chemicals) taking into account the currently available technologies and future developments.
The objective of ProBiorefine is to develop a systematic method and associated tools that can analyze and design innovative biorefinery networks based on chemical and biological approaches to convert biomass feedstock into valuable chemicals and biofuels.
· DTU (Chemical & Biochemical Engineering): Professors Rafiqul Gani, John Woodley, Anker D. Jensen and Krist V. Gernaey, together with Associate Professor Gurkan Sin and Assistant Professor Jakob K Huusom.
· KAIST (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering): Professors Jay H Lee, and Yongkeun Chang, together with Assistant Professor Minkee Choi
ProBioRefine is jointly led by Professors Jay H Lee and Rafiqul Gani.
Several PhD projects at DTU and at KAIST have already been started:
· DTU Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
o Superstructure based optimization of biorefinery networks
o Computer aided flowsheet design for biorefinery
o New catalysts for hydrodeoxygenation of biomass pyrolysis oil
· KAIST Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
o Microalgal biomass based biorefinery design and evaluation
o Process development for enzymatic and/or chemical hydrolysis of macroalgal galactan
o Development of hydrodeoxygenation catalysts for lipid conversion
The following two new PhD-positions have also been announced:
· DTU Chemical & Biochemical Engineering: Reaction path synthesis based generic biorefinery model.
· KAIST: Establishment of genetic engineering platform for the development of microorganisms highly efficient in utilizing various sugars in biomass hydrolysate.
An international network connected to ProBioRefine with participation of institutions from Austria, USA, China, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil, in addition to KAIST and DTU has also been started.
· Professor Michael Narodoslawsky (TU-Graz, Austria)
· Professor Mario R Eden (Auburn University, USA)
· Professor Jinsong Zhao (Tsinghua University, China)
· Professor Suttichai Assabumrungrat (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)
· Professor Mauricio Sales-Cruz (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana – Cuajimalpa, Mexico)
· Professor Fernando Pellegrini Pessoa (UFRJ, Brazil)
· Professor Ji-won Yang (Advanced Biomass R&D Center, Korea)
Two workshops, one in 2014 at KAIST and another in 2015 at DTU Chemical Engineering are being planned as dissemination-training events based on the results from ProBioRefine.
Jay H Lee (KAIST) and Rafiqul Gani (DTU Chemical Engineering) 3 February 2014