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OrCaCel - OrganoCat plant and pulping combinations for the full valorization of lignocellulose from marginal land grown perennial plants

The full valorization of lignocellulose residues is a crucial step to obtain ecological and economic figures in future biorefineries. The recently developed OrganoCat process is a promising alternative to deliver non-degraded fractions of the three main carbon components of lignocellulose. The OrCaCel project aims to combine plant science with analytics and chemical engineering to adapt the OrganoCat process for different types of plant biomass that is obtained from perennial plants growing in low-inpit production to minimize environmental footprint.

OrCaCel Graph

Impact on Bioeconomy
The final goal of this project is the development of an integrated, novel plant-based value chain from perennial plants to novel chemicals and materials. Utilization of low input biomass production will enable the development of higher value products without competition to food production. Specifically, perennial plants have a high potential to deliver sustainably biomass under these scenarios. Taking these aspects into account to further implement the OrganoCat process with emphasis on its adaptation and optimization for local lignocellulosic residues from perennial plants is strategically important for NRW. Opening new research avenues for NRW industries, with the use of local resources are major objectives of the Bioeconomy Science Center. OrCaCel addresses the research areas “sustainable plant bio-production and resource stewardship” (FS 1), “microbial and molecular conversion” (FS 2) and “process technology of sustainable resources” (FS 3) as well as the cross-cutting topics “systems engineering” (QT1) and “bioinformatics and knowledge management” (QT 2).

OrCaCel Photo

Expected results/ project products
Within the OrCaCel project different biomass fractions will be produced in low input production systems and analyzed, emphasizing a further use with strong industrial application options. Therefore a multi-kilogram scale plant for the OrganoCat process will be established. Data generated by characterizing the OrganoCat product streams will be correlated with those provided by the analysis and characterization of the original biomass, to create new conversion chains for biomass determined for defined chemicals and energy storage.

Participating Core Groups/Partner
Prof. Dr. Björn Usadel; Dr. Holger Klose, Institute for Botany and Molecular Genetics (IBMG): Plant Walls, Metabolism & Bioinformatics; RWTH Aachen University

Dr. Holger Klose, IBMG
RWTH Aachen University
Worringer Weg 3
52074 Aachen
phone: +49 (0) 241 - 80 25762

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schurr, Dr. Nicolai Jablonowski, Institute of Bio- and Geosciences IBG-2: Plant Sciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Prof. Dr. Walter Leitner, Dr. Philipp Grande, Institut für Technische und Makromolekulare Chemie ITMC, RWTH Aachen University

Project duration
01.07.2014 – 30.06.2016

OrCaCel is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC and thus funded by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.



OrCaCel is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC


funded by the

Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the German State of
North Rhine-Westphalia.