It is DONG Energy’s ambition to develop and commercialise a concept for a biorefinery that converts biomass to fuels and chemicals - in the same way as modern oil refineries today convert crude oil into a range of valuable products. We have already taken the first steps in that direction by developing three unique technologies – Inbicon, Pyroneer and REnescience – which utilise biomass and waste for energy purposes.
The biobased society DONG Energy’s new biomass technologies – Inbicon, REnescience and Pyroneer – are on the way to being scaled-up and commercialised.
In other areas within utilisation and upgrading of biomass we are in an earlier phase of the innovation chain. To applies to, for example, our innovation activities, which form part of the vision about the biobased society in which biomass replaces fossil fuels to a greater extent. Biomass refineries are a key component of this vision. Here, biomass is converted to, for example, fuels and chemicals – in the same way as modern oil refineries today convert crude oil into a range of valuable products such as fuels and chemical building blocks.
The biorefineries of tomorrow DONG Energy’s innovation in the biorefining area is still at a stage at which our development efforts are closely linked to research in selected fields.
We focus on integrating our Inbicon, REnescience and Pyroneer technologies with the new knowledge generated via our research projects.
Potential for the creation of permanent jobs A number of countries worldwide are faced with having to convert their economies so that they are less dependent on fossil fuels. This may result in the emergence of a global biorefinery market that Danish companies will be well placed to win a share of.
At the same time, the development in Europe’s second-generation bioethanol industry is expected to lead to the creation of a large number of new jobs in Europe in the years ahead. These will primarily be in rural areas and will therefore be difficult to move to other parts of the world.
Residual products become green chemicals In that connection we are interested, among other things, in the C5 molasses and lignin that are residual products from the production of bioethanol using the Inbicon technology. Today, we utilise the lignin for heat and power production at power stations and use the C5 molasses for biogas.
We carry out targeted research into new ways of using these residual products. For example, we participate in a research partnership with DTU and Novozymes on the production of green chemicals.
Biorefining research platform In December 2011, DONG Energy, together with a number of universities and companies and with funding from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation, also established a Danish biorefining research platform.
The platform forms the setting for a cooperation that, in the course of five years, is to develop specific, sustainable and financially advantageous solutions for the production of fuel for the shipping industry and green chemicals from biomass.
Dual-purpose crops A common starting point for all the research platform’s activities is that the increased future use of biomass for energy purposes and chemicals, etc., must not adversely affect food production.
Here, it is our vision to improve existing crops to produce ’dual-purpose crops’, where the same crops can produce biomass from stems and leaves while producing the same volume of seeds for food use.
BioRefining Alliance DONG Energy’s innovation in the biorefining area is coordinated closely with Danish key partners under the BioRefining Alliance, the aim of which is to accelerate the development of solutions that are to make Denmark a global power centre for the development of biorefining technology.
BioRefining Alliance works towards the biobased society, where sustainable biomass is an important source of, for example, food products, energy, chemicals, animal feed, composite materials for the construction and automobile industries, plastics and polymers, pharmaceutical ingredients, cosmetics and textiles and carpets.
DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe. Our business is based on procuring, producing, distributing and trading in energy and related products in Northern Europe.