ProBioRefine workshop



The objective of the project is to develop a systematic method and associated tools that can analyze and design innovative biorefinery networks based on chemical and biological approaches to convert biomass feedstock into valuable chemicals and biofuels. The project would be considered a success if the developed method is able to:

  • Satisfy the sustainability criteria (including environmental, social and economic issues)
  • Understand and analyze the geographical and supply chain constraints
  • Create superstructures of biorefinery networks based on current and future conversion technologies
  • Combine different sources of data, models, techniques, into a comprehensive method
  • Educate and train students, engineers, researchers on the science of biorefinery network generation, implementation and optimization
  • Systematically and efficiently manage the complexity
  • Successfully identify the best possible synthesis route for a given set of biomass and products (fuels & chemicals)


Concerns about diminishing petroleum reserves, enhanced worldwide demand for fuels and fluctuations in the global oil market, together with climate change and national security have promoted many initiatives for exploring alternative, non-petroleum based processes. At the same time, it is well-known that biomass is the most abundant and promising renewable source of organic carbon for the production of transportation liquid fuels, value-added chemicals and biomaterials. Carbohydrates, such as lignocellulose (cellulose) and starch, comprise as much as 75% of available biorenewable sources, and are typically obtained from corn, trees and grasses. The aim of biorenewable processing, namely biorefinery networks, is to convert a broad range of biorenewable carbon resources into liquid fuels, power and value-added chemicals. However, different geographical locations have different amounts and types of biomass and therefore, unlike the optimal petrochemical refinery, the optimal biorefinery network will be dependent on the specific geographical location.

The project

A new initiative on biorefinery, the ProBioRefine project has been launched at DTU (Chemical & Biochemical Engineering) and KAIST (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering) with funding from various sources. The ProBioRefine project brings together highly qualified researchers from DTU and KAIST to develop a very important aspect of biorefineries, namely, the optimal processing route (network) for the conversion of specific biomass into a set of desired products (fuels & chemicals) taking into account the currently available technologies and future developments. ProBioRefine is jointly led by Professors Jay H Lee and Rafiqul Gani.

The project is divided into the following four tasks:

  • Conversion of biomass to valuable chemical products (fuels & chemicals)
  • Generic synthesis methodology for biorefinery network
  • Generic methods and tools for biorefinery studies
  • Validation and Demonstration

The ProBioRefine project was launched on 1-2 December 2014 with a workshop at KAIST in Daejeon, Korea.

ProBioRefine project website
For more information please visit the ProBioRefine website


John Woodley
DTU Kemiteknik
45 25 28 85