Experiments (lab scale and pilot scale)

By products can be separated into valuable ingredients and processed into products.

By products can be separated into valuable ingredients and processed into products.

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:

  • i) pre-treatment (mechanical / physical / chemical pretreatment);
  • ii) hydrolysis (enzymatic pretreatment);
  • iii) fermentation (phase 1 lab scale (0.1 – 150L WV), phase 2 pilot plant scale (>15m3))
  • iv) downstream processing (purification / formulating of product);
  • v) sales of products.

The complete production protocol, can be divided into six steps:

  • analysis of the biomass;
  • pre-treatment;
  • hydrolysis;
  • fermentation;
  • purification of the product (DSP), and
  • scale-up of the process.

These different steps are described below.


Laboratory fermenter

Based on biobased materials, our experts can use fermentation technology for providing you with Polyhydroxyalkanoates

‘Valuable component’ analysis of sugar-rich (lignocellulosic) residual streams

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


Pre-treatment (mechanical / physical / chemical)

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.

More: Chemical pre-treatment More: Mechanical pre-treatment More: Physical pre-treatment


Pretreatment (enzymatic)

In this step, the enzymatic saccharification of cellulose / hemicellulose is optimized / studied.

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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


Downstream processing (DSP)

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.

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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