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Climate, Natural Resources and Environment




Integrated pilot process


Reduction in the cost of biobutanol production


Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to fossil fuels

The European project, ButaNexT, aims to validate an integrated and more sustainable process (economic, social and environmental) for obtaining butanol from different types of raw materials that do not compete in the food sector (wheat straw, miscanthus and organic fraction of municipal solid waste). the properties of different blends of butanol with fossil fuels (gasoline and diesel) and biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) and their behaviour will also be studied.


Biobutanol is an advanced biofuel with very advanced properties. It fits into the existing fuel infrastructure; it has a higher energy density and has demonstrated better performance properties than ethanol and biodiesel. However, it has not yet established itself in the market, due to some technical and economic barriers.


Develop a highly versatile two-stage pretreatment process (mechanical and chemical) that will allow the use of different types of feedstocks and reduce energy demand by about 15-25% while reducing process costs. Develop enzyme cocktails adapted to the fermentation process used that will reduce enzyme doses by around 25%. Increase the efficiency of the fermentation process. Validate the integration of all the stages and the development of the complete process (pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation and product recovery) in a pilot installation. Demonstrate its optimal properties in blends with fossil fuels and biofuels.


A process adapted to use a wide range of feedstocks and lignocellulosic residues (agricultural residues, organic fraction of municipal solid waste, regionally adapted energy crops) will facilitate the planning of commercial plant supply with subsequent economic and environmental improvements. This will boost the development of rural areas and the extension of the process using the raw materials mentioned above.

This project has been financed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under grant agreement 640462.

Igor Idareta

“Our project is designed to test, validate and optimise, at laboratory and pilot scale, the individual stages of the process supply chain to produce cost-competitive biobutanol from three types of lignocellulosic biomass and waste.”

Igor Idareta

Team leader with expertise in European Programmes

Team involved


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