Lignin as raw material for marine fuels

Short description

Although cleaner fuels are available, many companies choose to use heavy oils because of lower costs. However, heavy fuel oils are banned in the national waters of many countries. In addition, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is working to ban the use of mineral oil-based heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters. Due to environmental concerns and national and international regulations in connection with fossil-based heavy fuel oils, there is a considerable need for climate-gas- and pollution-free, renewable and economic alternatives for the maritime industry.

Working objectives of the project

The overall objective of IDEALFUEL is to develop an efficient and cost-effective two-step chemical route for the first extraction of lignin from lignocellulosic biomass as Crude Lignin Oil (CLO) while quantitatively obtaining a high quality solid cellulose fraction. In a second chemical process, the CLO is refined and upgraded (fuel formulation) to a bio-heavy oil that can be used either as drop-in blending fuel or pure in the existing ship fleet.

Working tasks OWI

  • Assessment of the technical properties of pure bio-heavy fuel for shipping
  • Collection of available fuel data
  • Compatibility of the bio heavy fuel oil with the fuel system
  • Investigation of the storage stability and ageing behaviour of organic heavy fuel oil
  • Testing of fuel-material interaction
  • Testing the fuel-engine oil interaction
  • Health, safety on board, environment and REACH compatibility assessment

Project partners

  • Eindhoven University of Technology (Koordinator)
  • Vertoro B.V.
  • BLOOM Biorenewables Sarl
  • Uniresearch BV
  • Winterthur Gas & Diesel Ltd.
  • GoodFuels
  • thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH
  • OWI Science for Fuels gGmbH
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas
  • Varo Energy Netherlands B.V.

Project promotion

This project is funded by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the European Union under grant decision no. 883753.

Project duration

May 2020 until April 2023


Dr.-Ing. Sangeetha Ramaswamy
Tel.: 02407/ 9518-143