Direct hydrogenation of lignin toward advanced fuels: development of new catalysts, process design, and sustainability assessment (LIGADFUEL)
Research Project , 2018 – 2020

The overall aim of this project is to perform research that can aid the development of future lignocellulosic bio-refineries for the production of advanced fuels, contributing to the UN sustainability goals for clean and affordable energy and industry innovation. In this context, the project will focus on investigating technologies at low technology readiness levels for exploiting the whole biomass potential focusing on the lignin fraction, which today is mostly used as low-value
fuel for heat production. One method to produce lignin fuels is to first depolymerize it and thereafter hydrogenate the formed bio-oil. However, in this project we will combine these and directly
hydrogenate the lignin. The advantage with this is to catalytically hydrogenate the formed radicals and thereby supress the unwanted repolymerisation. Thus, a first aspect of the project is to develop
innovative catalysts for hydrodeoxygenation of lignin, to facilitate the use of lignin as a feed stock for producing alternative fuels for transportation, and exploit synergies of co-produced added value
chemicals increasing the efficiency and economic competitiveness of the process. A second aspect of the project is to provide reaction kinetics and catalyst activity data for the design, scale-up and
integration of the lignin upgrading reactors into process flowsheets containing post-treatment separation technologies for the production of the target fuels and chemicals. This will allow the efficient generation and screening of a large number of alternatives with respect to process layout and operation parameters. Thus, a third aspect of the project is to perform multi-criteria assessment
from techno-economic and environmental life cycle perspective, to identify optimal process systems as well as their “hot-spots” for improvement, guiding further experimentation within the project time frame and beyond. Thus, it is envisaged that the project will create a plethora of lab and process design data to be used for advancing the lignin valorisation technologies to the next TRLs.


Stavros Papadokonstantakis (contact)

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Paraskevi Karka

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Louise Olsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology


European Commission (EC)

Brussels, Belgium


Stockholm, Sweden



Funding Chalmers participation during 2018–2020

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