The EU funded FP 7 BIOLYFE project investigated the production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic feedstocks. It improved critical process steps and demonstrated the whole supply chain, from feedstock sourcing via fuel production to product utilisation. As part of the project a 2nd generation industrial demonstration unit was constructed with an annual output of about 40,000 tons of lignocellulosic bioethanol, which is used for process optimization through extensive testing. The world’s first plant for the production of second generation biofuels was opened in Crescentino, Northern Italy, in October 2013. The plant uses wheat straw, rice straw and arundo donax. Lignin, a polymer extracted from biomass during the ethanol production process, is used at an attached power plant, which generates the required energy.

ifeu was responsible for the integrated sustainability assessment. The ifeu proprietary methodology was applied to integrate environmental, economic, technological, political and social aspects. Results are available below.


  • Integrated sustainability assessment available here
  • More information on the Crescentino plant you may find here
  • Basic information on BIOLYFE is provided in the project flyer


January 2010 – December 2013


European Commission in the 7th Framework Programme (Project No. FP7-239204)


CHEMTEX Italia srl (Italy) in cooperation with NOVOZYMES A/S (Denmark), Italian National Agency for new technology, Energy and Environment (ENEA, Italy), Lunds Universitet (Sweden), INBICON A/S (Denmark), AGRICONSULTING S.p.A. (Italy), WIP (Germany), Institut für Umweltstudien - Weibel & Ness GmbH (Germany), subcontract ifeu