AERTO, a European consortium of research and technological facilities, wants to help realise the transition to a bio-based economy. VITO is one of the project partners and provides technological insights in the chemical field.
The research network AERTO — short for Associated European Research and Technology Organizations — steers, encourages and supports research initiatives that work towards a sustainable society. Its goal is to increase the European potential for innovation through networking, coordination and sharing expertise. In recent years, programmes on offshore wind energy, energy-efficient construction and valorisation of waste materials have already been completed.
An ambitious new chapter in the transition to a bio-based economy began in 2014. In such an economy, biomass is used as an alternative to fossil fuels. In practice, AERTO focuses on:
- The extraction of useful sugars from lignocellulose
- The valorisation of algae
- The valorisation of lignin (sawdust)
- Market trends regarding applications of biomass
Within AERTO, VITO has taken on a leading role in the isolation and valorisation of lignin and lignocellulose. For both processes, it provides a host of refined techniques: membrane filtration to separate useful materials, but also techno-economic analyses and instruments to chart the efficiency of several value chains, for example, the biorefining of algae.
- Partner project between VITO and research and technological institutes in six other European countries: FhG, VTT, TNO, SINTEF, Tecnalia Technology Corporation and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden
- Together, the seven institutes represent a total of 45,000 experts
- Duration: June 2014 - June 2016 for the initial project
- Total budget consortium: €3,000,000