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Sustainable Biofuel: Innovations in Biothanol Production Technologies


Wood and straw are considered major biomass resources that can contribute to securing the future energy supply in the Nordic region. Major barriers to their utilization are high pretreatment, enzyme hydrolysis and fermentation costs. Selective separation of lignin prior to the enzymatic hydrolysis step will improve the efficiency of the hydrolytic enzymes. However, effective lignin separation methods are needed. Enzyme costs for hydrolysing celluloses need to be reduced to achieve economically feasible processes. Enzyme recycling could contribute to cost reductions. 


High ethanol yield and high production rate of ethanol is required for an optimal production of ethanol. Thermophilic anaerobic bacteria are possibly the best candidates for direct ethanologenic fermentation of polysaccharides containing both hexoses and pentoses. However, known strains need to be improved by genetic methods for more cost efficient ethanol production.


Project goals

The main objective of the project is to carry out break-through science leading to innovations in the central production technologies for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into second generation bioethanol. These central processes include pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation.


Key objectives


  • Development of more efficient processes for pretreatment of Nordic lignocellulosic biomass 
  • Development of more cost-effective processes for enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose 
  • Development of novel thermophilic microorganisms for bioethanol production 
  • Optimization of the fermentation processes for ethanol production
  • Process conceptual design, material and energy balances and cost-benefit assessment of technologies developed


More information


Read a summary of SusBioFuel results

Click here for a list of  SusBioFuel publications

Project duration: 2010-2014
Budget: 12.5 million NOK
Nordic Energy Research contributes with 75 %


Participating organisations



Project leaders


Sidsel Markussen, Researcher

SINTEF, Norway

+47  930 85 978

Project manager until August 2014:

Nils Dyrset, Senior Researcher

SINTEF, Norway


Project participants

  • Nils Dyrset, SINTEF, Norway (retired)
  • Sidsel Markussen, SINTEF, Norway
  • Karin Øyaas, PFI, Norway
  • Per Nygård, Statoil, Norway
  • Jørn Einen, Weyland, Norway
  • Mikael Jansson, Innventia, Sweden
  • Jaana Uusitalo, VTT, Finland
  • Guðmundur O. Hreggviðsson, Matís, Iceland
  • Timothy John Hobley, DTU, Denmark
Contact person

Programme Secretary

Inger Karni, Nordic Energy Research


Phone: +47 9548 0329