Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Willner investigated the fundamentals of the direct liquefaction of solid biomass within his doctoral studies. The research in this area came to a sudden stop, due to the falling oil price after the second oil crisis.
Today, however, the liquefaction of biomass as well as waste materials has more potential than ever before. Despite strong innovations in the fields of solar and wind energy, there seems to be no alternative to the production of pure liquid hydrocarbons from fossil recources. In addition, circumstances such as peak oil and at the same time the rising world’s energy demand by the emerging markets lead to a shortage in the oil supply and therefore rising prices.
The need of alternative processes which produce pure hydrocarbons from renewable non-food raw materials is getting inevitable.
Prof. Willner continued his research in 2003 by establishing a research group investigating the solvolytic direct liquefaction process.
In 2008 the process was converted into continuous operation. The understanding and know how of the development of the reactive conversion phase made this technological breakthrough possible. Based on these promising results, the Nexxoil AG was founded in 2009 in order to scale-up and commercialize the READi Process. The NEXXOIL AG investigated the behavior of the READi process in different scaling steps using variable feedstocks.
Prof. Willner and his team successfully established a systematic R&D program for basic understanding and development of solvolytic direct liquefaction. The NEXXOIL READi process is the result of this R&D effort.