Institute for Micro Process Engineering (IMVT)

SynCon - Novel synthesis process concepts for efficient chemicals / fuel production from biomass

  • contact:

    Pfeifer, Peter

  • funding:

    KIC Innogy

  • Partner:

    Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden

    The Central Mining Institute (GIG), Katowice, Polen

    Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TUe), Eindhoven, Netherlands

    Institute national du patrimoine (INP), Paris, France

    Uppsala, Sweden

    Satoil, Tangerang, Norway

    Total, Paris, France

  • startdate:


  • enddate:


The project aimed at the efficient production of fuels and chemicals (CH4, methanol, DME, H2, FT, SNG, second generation bioethanol, fine chemicals) for the application at small scale biomass conversion. IMVT coordinated the overall project. 

Project abstract

Gasification and biomass fermentation as well as admixtures with coal/carboniferous materials could be the source for the raw gas to be converted but these initial processes were not topic of the proposed project. Clean synthesis gas and pyrolysis gas as precursor to the fuels however did form part of the scope. The main topics to be addressed in the project were:

  • Improved energy efficiency due to reactor and plant design
  • Application of improved catalyst and processes
  • Process integration
  • Process intensification
  • Proof of concept with side stream experiments in pilot plants

Within IMVT microstructured reactors were supposed to be developed which allow the efficient use of reaction heat from synthesis steps like Fischer-Tropsch, DME or methanol synthesis. Applied R&D with respect to catalyst integration and lab-scale testing for biomass applications was performed in external cooperation with SINTEF and NTNU / Norway and with Statoil as associated partner. It was also supposed to participate in the development and demonstration of microreactors as well as on process design for increasing the efficiency for the reforming of biofuels. Demonstration on prototype scale was envisaged in cooperation with KTH Sweden.

Within the project lab-scale microchannel reactors of different internal size were tested and analyzed with regard to up-scaling. In cooperation a microchannel reactor for autothermal reforming possessing distributed air supply was developed and tested.

Autothermal Reformer for Diesel/Biodiesel with distributed air supply



Granlund, M. Z., Görke, O., Pfeifer, P. & Pettersson, L. J. (2014). Comparison between a micro reactor with multiple air inlets and a monolith reactor for oxidative steam reforming of diesel. International journal of hydrogen energy, 39(31), 18037-18045.

Influence of Channel Geometry on Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis in Microstructured Reactors  .
Piermartini, P.; Boeltken, T.; Selinsek, M.; Pfeifer, P.
2017. The chemical engineering journal, 313, 328-335. doi:10.1016/j.cej.2016.12.076