SuBiCat and State of the art

The challenge for SuBiCat

The challenge for the SuBiCat ITN is to facilitate the transition from fossil fuels to biomass. This ITN will train a new generation of scientists which will be equipped to solve one of the GRAND challenges that our society is facing: the change from a fossil fuel based society to a society based on clean and sustainable conversions of renewable feedstocks. This challenge concerns the whole world and is especially a threat to European welfare and economic prosperity. Meeting it will require the European and the world’s chemical industry to change from an industry built on fossil fuels to one that delivers completely sustainable production based on renewable resources. To address this significant societal problem, we believe the next generation of European researchers will need skills at the interface of biology, chemistry and engineering, thus defining the central goals of SuBiCat.........


The SuBiCat training network long-term objectives are:

  1. to address the challenge of enabling the transition from the use of fossil fuels to renewable resources in the chemical industry.
  2. to provide an interdisciplinary training platform that will deliver the next generation of European researchers that are capable of making the quantum leap to a fully sustainable chemical industry based on renewable resources only.
  3. to integrate innovative research in the use of renewable resources with the requirement for industrial and commercial exploitation.

The people involved are:

SuBiCat has its foundations in a world leading group of European organisations. The Dutch ‘Catalysis for Sustainable Chemicals from Biomass’ consortium led by Utrecht University and including the industrial company Hybrid Catalysis, the cluster of excellence 'Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass' (TMFB) from RWTH Aachen, Germany and the ‘Critical Mass grouping’ of Sustainable Biomass Catalysis at EaStCHEM in the UK have recently started what will be a long-lasting collaboration. In designing SuBiCat, we have strengthened this relationship by adding expertise in biological approaches to lignin degradation (The Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) and the University of Helsinki). Five industrial Associated Partners will also join us to deliver bespoke training and research input. We believe SuBiCat will cement together a unique European collaboration that will grow in time to include many of Europe’s Member States. The selected research sites are already developing new concepts in catalytic lignin valorisation. Most importantly, the strengths of biocatalysis are combined with those of homo- and heterogeneous catalysis to exploit their hitherto mutually exclusive advantages all the way through engineering aspects and industrial applications. We envisage that full integration of these different disciplines will bring us to the next level of scientific breakthroughs and real applications in Europe. This provides a perfect driving force for training a new generation of scientists......