BIOfuels production from Syngas FERmentation for Aviation and maritime use

Project BioSFerA

BioSFerA aims to develop a cost-effective interdisciplinary technology to produce sustainable aviation and maritime fuels from biogenic residues and wastes

The overall process, combining thermochemical, biological and thermocatalytic parts is based on the gasification of biomass and other biogenic waste in a Dual Fluidized Bed gasifier and the 2-stage fermentation of the produced syngas. Through this process the syngas is converted to acetate (1st stage) and then the acetate is converted to TAGs (2nd stage). The produced TAGs contained medium and long fatty acids are hydrotreated and isomerized after the necessary separation and purification and the end-products are sustainable aviation and maritime fuels respectively.

BioSFerA aims to evolve the proposed technology from TRL3 to TRL5. In the TRL3 phase, extensive lab scale tests will take place in order to optimize the process and increase its feedstock flexibility in terms of non-food bio-based blends. The best acetogenic bacterial strain will be identified based on its tolerance to syngas contaminants. Moreover, oleaginous yeasts will be genetically modified to convert the acetate derived from the first stage into C14 and C16-18 TAGs.

Then, building upon lab tests, the pilot scale runs (TRL5) will investigate the overall process. At least two barrels of hydrotreated TAGs will be produced as drop-in biofuels.

By exploiting the synergies between biological and thermochemical technologies, BioSFerA achieves a total carbon utilization above 35% and a minimum selling price <0.7-0.8 €/l. A process model of the overall BioSFerA process will be developed exploiting the know-how gained during piloting and used for realistic up-scaling calculations. Finally, techno-economic, market, environmental social and health and safety risk assessments will be performed.


The main role of Q8Research in this project is to assess the potential to convert the fermentation products into liquid fuels and the feasibility to market them from commercial and legal point of view

  • Assessment of the business cases and exploitation strategy (blending, co-processing and commercialization, “in situ” consumption, etc.);
  • Assess products against legal specifications/requirements;
  • Qualify products as blend-stock (or pure) or co-processing liquids for jet fuel and diesel);
  • Developing tests for the validation of the technology up to TRL 5;
  • Assess legal feasibility in view of REDII regulations



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research innovation programme under Grant Agreement number: 884208.
Horizon 2020

April 2020 - March 2024
€ 4.998.653,70
[email protected]


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