Project meeting of STEP at the site of the company ATS - Agro Trading & Solutions in Hardegsen (Photo: DBFZ)

Strategy development Biofuels

Project ID 03KB030

Downstream - Optimization of the Downstream-Processing for the production of biofuels via fermentation

Technical centre (Photo: University Bremen)


  • 01.10.2009 – 31.03.2011


University of Bremen
Institute for Environmental Process Engineering
Leobenerstr. UFT R0220
28334 Bremen

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Räbiger – project leader Telephone: +49 (0) 421-218 63331 E-mail:

Dipl.-Ing. Saskia John
Telephone: +49 (0) 421-218 63336


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The report is only available in German.


Coordination, realization, and evaluation experiments concerning the Downstreaming of biofuels using an innovative membrane process: The focus of the project is to show a possible solution for reduction of the enormous costs and therefore emissions and CO2-equivalents during production of biofuels and its downstream processing using an innovative membrane process based on osmosis.


The objective of this project is to increase the efficiency ecologically and economically while decreasing the CO2-emmisions of the of biofuel production via fermentation. The working field is the downstream processing, thus the cleaning step following the fermentation. This cleaning up to product quality shall be conducted using innovative technologies that are using much less energy than conventional technologies, because the part that consumes the most energy - the rectification – will be avoided or at least reduced. Energy consumption can be assumed to reduce for about 30% in reference to the total production process.


  • Examination of different applicable membranes
  • Finding of applicable highly molar, ecologically compatible and sustainable osmosis solutions
  • Examination of the efficiency of the technology in laboratory
  • Implementation of the membrane process in a semi-industrial fermentation plant


  • Downstream-Processing
  • Energy efficiency
  • CO2-reduction
  • Increase of the energy balance of biofuels
  • Membrane process
  • Acetone-butanol-ethanol-fermentaion


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