In front of you is the first ABC-Salt newsletter – click the image above to read or download the full publication. The project, sponsored by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 program, started in April this year and aims to develop technology at small lab scale for the conversion of biomass and particularly waste agricultural residues to middle distillates. Or in simpler words: from straw to a fuel for a Boeing 787.

This is not an easy task, it involves breaking down the complex molecular structure of biomass containing significant amounts of bound oxygen into an oxygen free, low molecular weight product. Catalysts play a major role here and have the function to effectively depolymerize the biomass structure and to remove the bound oxygen. We aim to develop both novel processing media, catalysts and integrated technology to make the process as efficient as possible. The project is not about the scale up of an existing concept to pilot plant or even a semi-commercial unit but aims to convert novel ideas in the field into a workable small scale lab unit.

But the project is not all about technology. Our product is an advanced biofuel. Already the word biofuels worries people, creating images of deforestation and food issues. As such, we are also very keen on getting to know the response of the general public on biofuels from agricultural residues in general and ours in particular. In case of barriers, we would like to prioritize them and develop strategies to mitigate them.

We are also particularly keen on communicating our results to the outside world for instance using newsletters (in front of you) and our public web site. Please explore our website here at

The first project meetings have been held already in Groningen (The Netherlands) and Stockholm (Sweden). Set-ups have been developed and initial testing with various biomass feeds has just started. Further progress will be presented in the next newsletters!

With best regards,

Erik Heeres – Project coordinator