Lignocellulose biorefineries

In a lignocellulosic biorefinery, biomass in the form of annual and perennial grasses, agricultural residues (e.g., straw, bagasse, husks and shells, corn cobs), wood and woody biomass is converted into a series of products. ifeu has been working on the sustainability assessment of lignocellulosic biorefineries since the late 1990s, before the concept of second generation biofuels even existed.

As part of the European Commission’s FP7 Research Programme, ifeu supervised the development of lignocellulosic biorefineries from the experimental stages to large-scale plants. Ifeu’s expertise helped to optimise the process development from a sustainability perspective, and showed both the disadvantages and risks along with the advantages and opportunities associated with the different concepts.

Selected projects involving ifeu include BIOCORE, SUPRABIO and BIOLYFE, in which various forms of biomass were converted into a range of different products.


Selected publications

H. Keller, N. Rettenmaier, G.A. Reinhardt:
Integrated life cycle sustainability assessment – A practical approach applied to biorefineries. Appl Energy (2015). Accepted manuscript available.

N. Rettenmaier, T. Rehl:
Environmental sustainability – a key success factor for bio-based products. How life cycle assessments can be used to improve business. GoingPublic Life Science Series Industrial Biotechnology Vol. 6 (01/15)

N. Rettenmaier:
Alles im grünen Bereich? Ökobilanzen für ausgewählte Bioraffinerie-Produkte (Green light for bio-based products? LCA results for selected biorefinery products). Proceedings of the “1. Bioökonomie-Kongress Baden-Württemberg”, Stuttgart, Germany, 29-30 October 2014

N. Rettenmaier, H. Keller, G. Reinhardt:
Lignocellulosic ethanol: R&D needs from an LCA perspective. Proceedings of the “4th International Conference on Lignocellulosic Ethanol”, Landshut, Germany, 23-25 September 2014

N. Rettenmaier, H. Keller, M. Müller-Lindenlauf, G.A. Reinhardt:
Integrated sustainability assessment of novel biorefinery products. Proceedings of “22nd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition”, Hamburg, Germany, June 23 – 26, 2014


Nils Rettenmaier

Dipl. Geoecologist
Phone: +49 (0)6221 4767 24

Dr. Guido Reinhardt

Scientific Director
Phone: +49 (0)6221 4767 31