Research database

NIAGARA - Next advanced bIofuels from AlGae biomAss and oRganic biogenic wAstes for electricity generation through fuel cells application

48 months (2028)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
UE-funded research - HE - Global Challenges - Climate, Energy and Mobility
Funding body:
Project identification number:
PoliTo role:


NIAGARA’s project intends to make a significant contribution to the development of a sustainable process chain, involving the shaping and procurement of openly available EU biogenic wastes (wastewaters, digestate, sewage sludge etc.), a production of carbohydrate-rich microalgae , an innovative continuous and flexible HTC process to convert the mix of biogenic wastes and microalgae into a solid fraction (hydrochar) and an aqueous phase that will in turn be converted into an advanced biofuel (a biogenic syngas rich in hydrogen) via gasification and aqueous phase reforming. Subsequent syngas cleaning processes are envisaged to ensure a full compatibility of the syngas to the solid oxide fuel cells. NIAGARA’s value chain will feature a very low carbon balance with a strong potential to become carbon negative overtime. NIAGARA will dramatically improve advanced biofuel production by combining complementary scientific and industrial know-how while fostering various promising market applications (e.g., fuel cells). the NIAGARA methodology, which derives from the ambitious idea of producing advanced biofuels from EU-widely available biomasses and wastes on a fully circular basis, making this value chain ultimately sustainable. The main market application that is sought in the NIAGARA project is the generation of electricity using highly efficient SOFC. This implies (i) individually developing key innovative and carbon-efficient processes, (ii) assessing their performances (carbon footprints, energy balance and production yields), and (iii) demonstrating their integration and global compatibility to reach the objective of negative carbon emission on the biofuel production chain up to the generation of electricity. NIAGARA will contribute towards lowering the technological, economic, and social barriers faced by the development of the contemplated processes at TRL5. The outcome of this work will contribute directly and significantly to EU’s overall renewal energy targets.



  • CEA - Coordinator


ERC sectors

PE8_2 - Chemical engineering, technical chemistry

Sustainable Development Goals

Obiettivo 12. Garantire modelli sostenibili di produzione e di consumo


Total cost: € 3,965,334.75
Total contribution: € 3,965,334.75
PoliTo total cost: € 400,118.75
PoliTo contribution: € 400,118.75