Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Technologies to Produce Fuel from Biomass Waste

Request Number
Due Date
Nov 30, 2018
Program Manager


Licensing, product acquisition, supplier agreement, joint development, proof of concept leading to scale-up to manufacturing


  • Phase 1 – Proof of concept in 3 months
  • Phase 2 – Pilot plant demonstration 6 months
  • Phase 3 – Commercial use 12-18 months


Funding is available to develop promising approaches.

All financials are to be discussed.

RFP was closed on
Dec 2018

RFP Title


Technologies to Produce Fuel from Biomass Waste
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing Ilim Group, the largest pulp and paper company in Russia and one of the leaders globally, invites proposals for technologies that can cost-efficiently produce fuels like fuel oil (heating oil) and diesel from biomass (wood waste including logging, bark, saw-dust waste, and sludge). Preference is for mature technologies that can rapidly be integrated into the client's operations.


Ilim annually produces close to a million tons of logging waste. The main part of this waste is wood waste produced at their mills and sludge coming from the pulp and paper mill water purification process. The wood waste and sludges are of low quality and cannot be further processed into valuable materials. An option that is being studied is to use this waste as a feedstock for producing biofuels. Bio-based fuel oil (heating oil) and diesel are the most attractive end products based on their commercial value. Therefore, Ilim issues this open call to identify technologies that have high yields and that are ready or close to commercial use. The produced biofuels will be used within the client’s infrastructure (current annual fuel oil consumption >100 kt).


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Initial demonstration of the technology and process.
  • Assessment of the viability for scale-up.


Phase 2 – Pilot plant demonstration

  • Scale-up of the process and transfer to pilot scale production.


Phase 3 – Commercial use

  • Elaboration of the implementation options at the various locations.
  • Full scale implementation at suitable locations.
Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Be able to convert wood waste
    • 500 kilotons available
    • Water content is ~50%
    • A drying process is available


  • Be able to convert sludge
    • 350 kilotons available
    • Water content ~75%
    • A drying process is available


  • Ideally give a ready to use end product
    • Fuel oil (heating oil) suitable for use in industrial burners
    • Diesel according to ASTM standard
  • Give a high conversion and little by-products
    • Dry waste to usable biofuel of 20 to 30% (fuel oil equivalent)
    • Minimize biochar yield
    • Minimize biogas yield
    • Minimize CO₂ release
  • Energy requirements for the process to be covered by the wood waste itself
  • Be mature and have at least reached pilot scale production capability
Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Flash pyrolysis process enabling direct production of fuel oil or diesel
  • Any other production process (catalytic/non-catalytic) leading to converting biomass into fuel oil or diesel
  • Although not the preferred route, efficient conversion into biogas is also of interest
Approaches not of Interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Conversion by fermentation into methanol, ethanol
  • Methods not using wood waste or sludge as the raw material
Items to be Submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology
    • Conversion approach
    • Schematic overview of proposed process
    • Estimated yield
    • Estimated production cost (capex and operating costs)
    • Lab or pilot scale data illustrating the process efficiency
  • Technical maturity of the approach (prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
  • Estimated timeline and budget requirements for reaching Phase 1, 2 and 3
  • Team description and related experience


Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), researchers, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome.  For example:


You represent a company that has demonstrated at pilot scale a wood based biodiesel process

You represent a company that is marketing modular pyrolysis biofuel systems

You represent a university research department that has a suitable bench-scale demonstration process and is close to a pilot scale demonstration

Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest