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Cascading utilisation of biowaste for generation of bio-butanol and bio-methane


The aim of the project is the development of a cascaded three-stage process in order to generate liquid and gaseous bio-fuels from municipal organic waste. The core element of this process is a two-stage ABE process with subsequent biogas stage. Purified gas from hydrolysis will be utilized in the ABE as well as the biogas stage (internal biogas upgrading).

ABE dehydration is carried out by a serial adsorption-rectification process or by pervaporation technology. The overall process will be evaluated according to economic and ecological aspects.


Until now, organic residues such as municipal organic waste are have been utilized for the production of liquid fuels (e.g. bio-ethanol, FAME) only to a minor extent. The main part of municipal organic wastes are used for biogas production or disposed of by composting.

This project will develop a fermentative cascade, which should facilitate the utilization of lowcost renewable residues for the production of alternative liquid and gaseous fuels using a three-stage fermentation process.

The core element of the KASAV-process is an ABE process unit with an upstream hydrolysis stage and a downstream biogas stage. The gas mixture produced during hydrolysis is desulfurized using an absoption process and subsequently separated into CO2 and H2 via membrane technology. Because of the input of an intermediate product, H2, in adjacent ABE- and biogas process stages, a fundamental improvement of the single process steps can be ensured. Additionally, higher methane concentrations and lower CO2 concentrations can be reached in the biogas stage through internal biogas upgrading and hence, external upgrading to bio-methane quality is more cost-efficient.

Current drawbacks in bio-butanol production, such as low product concentrations as a consequence of product inhibition, instability of microorganisms and long lag phases in batch-fermentation processes, should be overcome by continuous product recovery using selective adsorption columns or pervaporation technology, immobilization of microorganisms on carrier materials and the development of a continuous three-stage production system.

In this project, a continuous multi-stage process with simultaneous product recovery should be demonstrated and evaluated according to technical, ecological and economical aspects.

Duration: 1.6.2013 – 31.05.2016
Program: e!MISSION.at – 1.Ausschreibung (Industrielle Forschung)
Funded by
Climate and Energy Fund
Project partners
Contact: Markus Ortner

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