NILENew Improvements for Ligno-cellulosic Ethanol (NILE)
Full title: New Improvements for Lignocellulosic Ethanol
Contract number: 019882
Project duration: 1 October 2005- 31 March 2010
Project Website: www.nile-bioethanol.org
New Improvements for Ligno-cellulosic Ethanol (NILE) is an Integrated Project financed under the 6th Framework Programme for Research, Development and Technical Demonstration of the European Union. The project ran from October 2005 to March 2010 and had a total budget of 12.8 M€.
It has now come to a close. Commenting on the results, the co-ordinator, Dr Frédéric Monot of IFP, said, "Among the highlights were the efficient conversion of hexoses and pentoses present in the raw materials into ethanol using novel engineered yeast strains and an adapted fermentation strategy, and the improvement of the enzymatic cocktail responsible for the hydrolysis of the lignocellulosic biomass into sugars. The pilot trials were another important component of the project, showing that the combined process can run reliably in plants at that scale. Let’s not forget either our work on assessing the quality of the lignin by-product, on modeling the economic viability of large scale lignocellulosic ethanol production and its greenhouse gas impacts and finally on comparing ethanol blends and gasolinein vehicle engines."
Dr Monot continued, "There were also challenges:the production of high amounts of new enzymes on time for pilot tests, the availability of the latest versions of yeasts strains and the sensitivity of the performance of the overall process on pretreatment."
The first brochure, published in January 2008, reported results from the first two years of the project and the latest edition covers the remaining period to 2010 in 20 accessible,illustrated pages.
EUREC'S ROLE IN NILE
EUREC Agency was leader of NILE's work package on dissemination and training. We were responsible for the production of the two brochures, editing contributions from the researchers in the project and seeking to make the results intelligible to the non-expert. We also set up opportunities for Master's students to come into contact with the NILE researchers. We sent students from our course to the NILE pilot plant in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, and provided opportunities for leaders of the project to present its results to them. On two occasions during the project, EUREC ran "professional courses": training sessions for biofuel experts where detailed presentations on NILE were given and participants could put their questions directly to the researchers.