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Improving the economic feasibility of the biorefinery through catalysis engineering: enhancing the catalyst performance and optimizing valuable product yields

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "ECOCAT" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: B4 7ET

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 183˙454 €
 EC max contribution 183˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-01-15   to  2020-01-14


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    ASTON UNIVERSITY UK (BIRMINGHAM) coordinator 183˙454.00


 Project objective

Catalytic pyrolysis of biomass is a process for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to a liquid product that has potential to be utilized as a fuel, a source of renewable chemicals and as an alternative to crude oil for upgrading to transportation fuels. ZSM-5 zeolite is the most studied catalyst for this process due to its acidity and shape-selectivity, which favour the conversion of biomass oxygenates to valuable aromatic hydrocarbons and limit the formation of coke. Among the shortcomings of the ZSM-5 zeolite is the small size of its pores; these small pores do not allow the large molecules in the pyrolysis vapours to access the active acid sites. Secondly, its sensitivity to biomass metals leads to poisoning and deterioration of its selectivity. Coupled with the high cost of the ZSM-5, the later leads to significant operating costs that arise from the necessity to replace the deactivated catalyst with fresh material at high rates.

The objective of this proposal is to investigate and improve on the economics of the process by reduction of catalyst-related operating costs and optimization of catalyst selectivity towards desirable products. This is going to be achieved through utilization of microporous zeolites modified with mesoporosity. Mixed results have been reported with such zeolites in the past. To address this, a suitable experimental procedure will be developed for the systematic study of mesoporosity through assessment of multiple aspects of catalyst performance, such as activity, selectivity, coke suppression and deoxygenation. Increased activity and selectivity is expected to result from increased accessibility of larger molecules to the zeolite acid sites. In order to address the short lifetime of the catalyst, the mechanism of poisoning from biomass metals will also be studied and modification of the catalyst, tentatively with implementation of materials more reactive to biomass metals, will be investigated in order to extend its lifetime.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 S. D. Stefanidis, A. V. Bridgwater, Ignacio Melian-Cabrera
Improving the economics of biomass catalytic pyrolysis by reduction of catalyst-related operating costs
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
22nd International Conference on Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis (PYRO 2018) 2020-03-24
2019 Stylianos D. Stefanidis, Antonio Pineda, Antonio A. Romero, Alina M. Balu, Anthony V. Bridgwater
Catalytic pyrolysis of biomass using hierarchical mesoporous ZSM-5 zeolite aggregates
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
5th International Congress on Catalysis for Biorefineries 2019 (CatBior V) 2020-03-24
2019 Stylianos D. Stefanidis, Ashika Patel, Anthony V. Bridgwater
Synthesis of tailored hierarchical ZSM-5 zeolites and aggregates for the catalytic pyrolysis of biomass
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Pyroliq 2019: Pyrolysis and Liquefaction of Biomass and Wastes 2020-03-24
2019 Stylianos D. Stefanidis, Ashika Patel, Anthony V. Bridgwater
Synthesis of tailored hierarchical ZSM-5 zeolites and aggregates for the catalytic pyrolysis of biomass
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
ABC Salt Summer School 2019 2020-03-24

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