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First of its kind cellulosic ethanol biorefinery

The project will demonstrate a first of its kind commercial-scale second generation (2G) biorefinery. A brownfield industrial site in eastern Slovakia will be transformed into a facility producing 55 kilotonnes cellulosic ethanol per year. A successful project will pave the way for the largest 2G biorefinery in Europe (110 kilotonnes/year).


To establish an advanced European bioeconomy, Europe needs to boost the sustainable conversion of renewable biomass into bio-based products, chemicals and energy. Currently, there are no true full-scale producers of second generation bioethanol in Europe.

Aim and goal

  1. Establish a first of a kind biorefinery flagship for Europe in terms of size and innovation potential
  2. Demonstrate a regional bio-based value chain, helping farmers to diversify business and create new opportunities.
  3. Validate and optimise design and process solutions, already proven at pilot/demo scale but  needing to be upscaled and integrated into a bioeconomy value chain
  4. Share a summary of the project’s sustainable business model.


Four ‘Innovation Stepping Stones’ that will allow a breakthrough in the techno-economic viability of lignocellulosic biorefineries:

  1. Superior biorefinery technology
  2. A brownfield approach, improving regional infrastructure
  3. Industrial symbiosis and energy autonomy
  4. Abundant, secure and sustainable biomass


The biorefinery technology that the project introduces will deliver a biomass to ethanol yield that is 15 – 20 % higher than current state of the art processing. Regional effects:

  1. Cross-industry collaboration between the agro-industry, bio-based, chemical and energy industries
  2. Improved regional infrastructure regarding storage and shipment facilities
  3. An estimated 160 direct and 500 indirect jobs (in energy and biotechnology) across the value chain


Project name




RISE role in project

Develop the value of the by-product lignin by identifying the most promising applications for the different lignins and refine the lignins towards intermediates and final products.

Project start


5 years

Total budget

30 132 314 €


Energochemica, Agriconsulting, Farma Oborin, Imperial College London, Lesaffre, National Agricultural and Food Centre, Novozymes, PNO Innovation, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Sustainability Consult, Hepta


Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), Energochemica, Biochemtex, Lesaffre, Farma Oborin, Novozymes

Project website



External press

Supports the UN sustainability goals

7. Affordable and clean energy
12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action
Katarina Ohlsson

Contact person

Katarina Ohlsson


+46 10 228 45 55

Read more about Katarina