GRAIL e-NEWSLETTER #4 – July 2016

Project Progress


The “GRAIL Open Day” was held in March 9, 2016 in Brussels at ENEA’s facilities. The presentation offered the occasion to discuss the opportunities emerging from the project and include more details of the aims, strategies and technical issues related to the research and development in progress. IMG_20160309_110319

The agenda, speakers and photos of the event are available on the website.


Block diagrams

The preliminary block diagrams, issued at the sixth month of the project, are currently under updating. A quantitative block diagram is under preparation for the following “Food compounds”: vitamin B12, b-carotene, EPA and DHA. EPA has been chosen in substitution of trehalose which has been considered less important. With reference to “Biofuel”,a quantitative block diagram is being prepared for butanol and FAGE as well as for butyric acid/PHA for the “Green Chemicals” group.
Data coming from partners’ experimentation has been collected and used: missing data have been requested. Data coming from literature have been used when lab scale data are not available.
For FAGE, a preliminary estimation of the cost of production has been completed.
The block diagram will be used as reference for the preparation of the Process book for DHA.

1,3-PDO conversion to high value products

The process of extraction of 1.3 PDO and its conversion to high-value products (e.g. propanal) using ionic liquids is currently under development also through a thesis work. The work is carried out in collaboration with QUUB and STUBA. The process development is being performed using the process simulator Aspen Plus and comparing data coming from simulator with data coming from GRAIL partners’ experimental test.

Patent development

A patent application about ethanol production from glycerol based on developed process architecture (Deliverable D5.2) is under discussion. The patent application is referred to overall architecture of the production and recovery of ethanol, starting from glycerol fermentation, through product recovery, till ethanol purification. The patent is going to be agreed with SINTEF for the aspects related to gas stripping.

Agreement signed with an Italian biodiesel producer

An agreement has been signed with an Italian biodiesel producer to realize a pilot plant inside their facilities: the pilot plant will be designed and installed to convert glycerol to ethanol, based on the preliminary results from GRAIL project. The experimentation that will be carried out on the pilot plant will be used as reference for the design of industrial plants based on GRAIL technology.