Key Info

Basic Information

Prof. Dr. Walter Leitner
Prof. Dr. Andreas Jupke
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Klankermayer
Prof. Dr. André Bardow
Prof. Alexander Mitsos, Ph.D.
Faculty / Institution:
Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences, Mechanical Engineering
Joint Technology Initiatives
Project duration:
01.09.2016 to 31.08.2021
EU contribution:
7.451.945,62 euros
  EU flag This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720695.  


Demonstration of solvent and resin production from lignocellulosic biomass via the platform chemical levulinic acid


The GreenSolRes-Project demonstrates the levulinic acid value chain of lignocellulosic feedstocks to high-value products in a 3-step approach on TRL 6 to 7: First, a demonstration plant in Biorefinery of RWTH Aachen will be designed and build according to GFBiochemicals proprietary technology for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to the platform chemical levulinic acid. Levulinic acid hydrolysate separation at GFB’s technology provider enables more efficient and purer levulinic acid production. In a 2nd step the versatile platform chemical levulinic acid is hydrogenated to 2-methyltetrathydrofuran (2-MTHF), gamma-valerolactone (GVL) and 1-methyl-1,4-butanediol (MeBDO) in a direct process developed by RWTH Aachen. These can be produced in the same reactor with a single catalyst by tuning the process conditions, the demo-plant is constructed by GFB. Third, the application of the products as solvents is validated in adhesives and the pharma sector as substitute of their more ecotoxic C4-analogues. Additionally, HENKEL studies the development of respective new polymers with improved properties. The basic engineering of first commercial plants for these steps supports rapid upscaling and exploitation after the project. This will release these products from the niche markets they are confined to due to ineffective existing production routes.


  • Henkel KGaA, Germany
  • GFB Europe B.V., Netherlands (Participation ended)
  • Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse e.V. an der Universität Rostock, Germany
  • SYNCOM Forschungs- und Entwicklungsberatung GmbH, Germany
  • Hybrid Catalysis B.V., Netherlands
  • Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek N.V., Belgium
  • GFBiochemicals Italy S.p.A., Italy (Participation ended)