THE NILE PROJECT
NILE stands for New Improvements for Ligno-cellulosic Ethanol and is an EU funded research project in which SEKAB is one of the co-leaders. The project’s overall objective is to develop cost and environmentally effective methods to mass-produce ethanol as vehicle fuel.
The initiative is part of the effort to achieve the EU directive goals of replacing 5.75 percent of the fossil fuels in the transport system by 2010. NILE is the only authorised bioethanol project in the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme. The Seventh Framework Programme which started in 2007 represents a much stronger commitment to the field of biofuels.
The NILE project has prioritised three main tasks that are considered to be particularly important:
- To develop new enzymes to break down cellulose in plant material (mainly softwood and agricultural residues such as wheat straw) into sugar.
- To develop more new yeasts that can convert all the different sugars in biomass into ethanol.
- Improved process integration to reduce energy use in the process.