Air Liquide has announced the start-up of a new biofuel plant in Germany as part of the bioliqTM project in partnership with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

The bioliq™ pilot plant aims at demonstrating the feasibility of a process to produce high-quality sulfur-free fuel from residual biomass.

These ‘second generation’ biofuels are produced using the inedible part of plants (wood waste, straw), without any impact on the food chain, as opposed to ‘first-generation’ biofuels produced from the oil, sugar or starch contained in plants like oilseeds, beetroot or cereals.

For this project, Air Liquide provided key technologies for the pyrolysis of biomass and gas synthesis, as well as the oxygen supply needed for the gasification process. Thanks to this process now operating, approximately 7kg of straw can produce one litre of fuel.

These biofuels will be able to contribute to the production of quality fuels, green chemicals, and ‘Blue’ hydrogen (CO2-free hydrogen); they also allow a reduction of up to 90% in CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuels.

Air Liquide notes that the next step is to optimise the process in order to ramp-up production and prepare for future commercialisation.