Green light for research into responsible marine biofuels

11 Dec 2019Project news

NWO has approved a project within the Value from Biomass programme. This project focuses on research into the use of biomass to produce maritime biofuels. The multidisciplinary research is led by Dr. Lotte Asveld of Delft University of Technology and will start in 2020.

Research into making the maritime sector more sustainable

There is a strong call to make the maritime sector more sustainable. To achieve this, biofuels are an interesting option. At the moment, however, the available technology does not yet meet the demand of the maritime sector. This requires additional development. With the research, the researchers aim to develop and improve new and existing thermochemical processes for the production of high-quality biofuels.

Biohubs for customised local solutions

In addition to the technical challenge, the research also looks at the development of safe and sustainable supply chains that take into account the needs, knowledge, skills and values of all relevant actors. Special attention is paid to the actors at the beginning (biomass producers) and end of the process. The research builds on the principle of ‘Value Sensitive Design’ and looks at ‘biohubs’ for local solutions. In this way, the biomass is processed locally in a socially responsible manner. This is done in close cooperation with the stakeholders.

Multidisciplinary research with a broad consortium of stakeholders

Several researchers from Delft University of Technology are involved. In addition to Dr. Asveld, these are Prof. dr. de Jong and Prof. dr. Osseweijer. Boskalis Dredging Company, Goodfuels, Biomass Research, Hilux, Varo and Biondoil are also involved. These private partners also contribute financially to the project. The public partners in this project are Solidaridad, the Federatie Bio-economie Nederland and the Platform Duurzame Biobrandstoffen.

Value from biomass

The project ‘CLEAN SHIPPING: Thermo-chemistry and inclusive supply chains design for sustainable production of biofuels in the marine transport industry’ has been awarded funding in the Value from Biomass programme. This programme focuses on the transition from an economy based on fossil raw materials to an economy based on sustainable alternatives. Project proposals had to address molecular and technological challenges as well as the societal aspects of the biomass value chain. The NWO approach for responsible innovation (MVI) was part of this call. Within this call, the consortium had to consist of at least one knowledge institution and one private partner.

Responsible Innovation

The aim of the Responsible Innovation programme is to create innovations that are socially acceptable. The researchers from various scientific disciplines will identify the social aspects of their research at an early stage and involve this in the design and development process.  An important part of the MVI approach is that stakeholders are involved in the research from the start. They look at the applicability and implementation of the research results on the basis of their practical knowledge.

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