Description du projet :
Statistic figures for mobility and traffic in 2018 show that cars and leisure activities prevails in passenger transportation. The car is the most common transport means with an average of 10'370 km per year. Each Swiss citizen consumes on average 700 L of fossil fuels yearly and transport accounts for 39% of CO2 emissions of Switzerland. To reduce these emissions, sustainable biofuels are required. Fossil fuels are already blended with biodiesel or bioethanol from renewable resources, but this corresponds to only 3% of total fuel consumption. Furthermore, biofuels production is currently in competition with food sources. Although electro-mobility is emerging, there are still more than 6 million petrol/diesel vehicles in operation inSwitzerland - there is an evolution, but not a revolution in the vehicle population. To this end, solutions for sustainable fuels needs to be developed rapidly, which a) can be integrated into the existing infrastructure, b) are CO2-neutral and c) do not compete with food supply.
This is where our project comes in: many bacteria naturally accumulate polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) in presence of carbon substrate when another nutrient (nitrogen or phosphorus) is limiting growth. The first goal of this project is to establish a bioprocess with microorganisms that are able to produce PHA from CO2. The second goal of this project is to chemically convert PHA further to biofuels. There are first reports about PHA based biofuels, but the oxygen content of these compounds is very high ' up to 40%, which allows a blending of only a few % in diesel. Our approach goes further, as, through depolymerization and hydrogenation (from H2 from solar water splitting), we can produce high quality biofuels not competing with food & feed sources.
Considering a larger implementation of the process, we assess the ecologic potential of our new PHA-based biofuel and compare it to alternative and existing competing technologies on a life cycle assessment (LCA) basis. This approach also feedbacks to the biofuel production process, providing bounding conditions and requirements regarding both its potential production costs and environmental impacts.
' There is an urgent need for novel, sustainable biofuels ' our approach is innovative and we have the competencies in PHA production, chemistry and catalysis for biofuel production and characterization.
' Preliminary LCA to estimate ecological impact as well as the potential of PHA-based biofuels.
' Scale-up of one of the bioprocess for PHA production and of chemical biofuel synthesis to > 1 kg scale for proof-of-concept.
' Test of the new PHA-based biofuels in an engine test bench unveiling the potential of this novel and innovative biofuel production chain.
' Valorization of the project through dissemination of the results and research of third-party funding, especially for a further integration of industrial glycerol wastes and CO2 exhaust gas as feedstocks.
Research team within HES-SO:
Pott Julien, Micaux Fabrice, Zinn Manfred, Pilloud Vincent, Dardano Florian, Miserez Florian, Albergati Luce, Nellen Christian, Alber Bastien, Maruel Frédéric, Sthioul Hervé, Richard Jacques, Hanik Nils, Utsunomia Camila, Amstutz Véronique, Marti Roger
Partenaires académiques: HES-SO Rectorat; VS - Institut Technologies du vivant; hepia inSTI; FR - EIA - Institut ChemTech; Marti Roger, FR - EIA - Institut ChemTech
Durée du projet:
19.02.2019 - 30.09.2021