The project is about producing “defossilised”, low-sulphur maritime bunker fuels from bio-based residues. Deep-sea vessels without exhaust gas cleaning systems (“scrubbers”) are required to use fuels with sulphur contents of no more than 0.1 wt.-% within coastal Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs) outside the SECAs, the limit is 0.5 wt.-% since 2020. In PyroMar, we will produce a blendstock for bunker fuels, based upon waste biomass like straw, autumn leaves, low-intensity grassland herbage, residual forest wood and brush cuttings. Ablative fast pyrolysis will turn these residuals into bio-oil. Esterification with medium-chained alcohols, derived from to straw-based ethanol in a catalytic process, turns the bio-oil into a biofuel. Testing blends of the generated biofuels and fossil bunker-fuels in a research marine engine will validate the process concept. Studies like Life Cycle Assessment, biomass and sales-market analysis, legal framework survey, scale-up concepts and market-entry concepts will support the experimental work.

PyroMar aims putting into practice the integrated approach of producing an affordable bunker-fuel blendstock from residual biomass. Designed to be used within and outside the SECAs, they will contribute to both solving the Sulphur related challenges and reducing fossil CO2-emissions in this transport sector. Experimental work targets on defining suitable recipes and operating parameters for the chemical operations, preparing subsequent scale-up and validating the overall process on Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 to 5 with first engine tests. Furthermore, the project aims at paving the way towards later commercialization with commercial, engineering and sustainability studies, an industry board accompanying the project and an industry workshop.

ifeu prepares studies on biomass and sales potentials and a life cycle assessment (LCA). It also prepares recommendations for action for politics and public authority.


Project start January 2020


Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy


Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT

University of Rostock, Chair of Piston Machines and Internal Combustion Engines (LKV)


Further content: