The renewable bioproducts focus area encompasses both mature industries such as the Pulp & Paper industry or producers of ethanol with conventional technologies as well as emerging technology areas such as distributed biorefining which explores a wide range of biomass feedstocks for conversion into diverse products ranging across fuels, energy, chemicals, and materials. While the technology driving these industry segments is very different, the group has a common goal of converting renewable feedstocks into value-added products and has some of the same basic challenges impacting overall capital and energy efficiency.
Process intensification and modular manufacturing innovation will enable the evolution of traditional pulp and paper, forest products and agricultural products industries into an advanced renewable bioproducts industry (including renewable fuels, power, chemicals, and materials).
RAPID’s Renewable Bioproducts Area focuses on developing, prototyping and/or scaling and demonstrating process intensification and modular manufacturing technologies that improve energy efficiency and reduce capital and operating costs in the conversion of biorenewable resources and manufacture of biobased products
Key challenges to advancing biobased manufacturing will be defined. Promising technologies in process intensification and modular manufacturing will be identified for overcoming these challenges. Project teams of technology providers and commercialization partners will be organized to investigate the feasibility of implementing these manufacturing innovations. A wide range of process intensification technologies will be considered including combined unit operations; enhanced mixing; improved heat transfer; non-thermal process energy; increased chemical reaction rates; reductions in waste generation; waste utilization; advanced separations; chemical and heat recovery; efficient process water and solvent recycling and reuse; carbon recovery from waste water; and manufacturing process improvement and automation.
RAPID’s Renewable Bioproducts area aims to demonstrate and deploy process intensification and modular manufacturing technologies that integrate unit operations and improve manufacturing of traditional and emerging bio-based products to achieve increased energy efficiency and energy productivity while reducing capacity costs, module production and deployment costs, pollution emissions and waste products.