Our team is specialized in the hydrolysis (enzymatic release of sugars) and fermentation (converting sugars to interesting products using micro-organisms) within the valuation chain of sugar rich (lignocellulosic) biomass towards high valuable compounds. Although this web page only describes the valorization chain of sugar rich materials, we are also experienced in the valorization of other biomass, such as byproducts of meat and fish processing.More: Valorization of meat and fish byproducts
Together with partners, the complete valorization chain is offered:
The complete production protocol, can be divided into six steps:
These different steps are described below.
This step consist of a thorough analysis of the biomass / residual stream for interesting components, used in fermentation processes. Interesting components for fermentation purposes are, for example, free sugars, hemicellulose, cellulose, and starch. Next to these, other interesting components, such as fats and proteins are also included in this analysis.More: Valuable component analysis
This step consist of a mechanical / fysical / chemical pretreatment in order to increase the accessibility of hydrolytic enzymes on cellulose en hemicellulose within the fibers.
In this step, the enzymatic saccharification of cellulose / hemicellulose is optimized / studied.More: Enzymatic pre-treatment
The fourth step consists of fermentations with sugars obtained from cellulose / hemicellulose (the hydrolysate) as carbon source. The purpose of this step is to check the suitability of the sugar stream for a certain application. Micro-organisms may, for example, be inhibited by other released components (like phenol derived components) within the pretreatment steps. Optimization (and finding balanses between pretreatment procedures) of yield and productivity for a certain application is needed.More: Fermentation experiments
This fifth step consists of purifying / formulating the product. The end product will be purified by separation and purification technologies to the needed market conditions. Optional steps are centrifugation, (membrane) filtration, homogenization, (bio) chemical conversion, chromatography, crystallization, electrodialysis, extraction, evaporation, and different drying methods, depending on requested formulation of the final product.More: Downstream Processing
The sixth step is to scale up the process descibed above (pilot plant scale). Yield (g / L) and productivity (g / L / h) of the biomass / biochemicals production at >15m3 are needed to perform and deliver a complete economic feasibility report.More: Conceptual Design / Feasibility Study