Gent, Belgium
Gent, Belgium

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-IA-DEMO | Phase: BBI.VC3.D5-2015 | Award Amount: 15.54M | Year: 2016

Approximately one third of all food produced globally is wasted every year throughout the whole value chain-from farmers to consumers. To extract the significant amounts of valuable compounds contained in these wastes, AgriMax will combine affordable and flexible processing technologies (ultrasound assisted and solvent extraction, filtration, thermal and enzymatic treatments) for the valorization of side streams from the horticultural culture and food processing industry to be used in a cooperative approach by local stakeholders. Through the selection of case-scenarios previously developed to a pilot scale by the participating RTOs and their industrial transfer in new applications as food additives, packaging and agricultural materials among others, the project will disclose the holistic potential of four new agro-value chains (residues and by products from the culture and processing of tomato, cereals, olives, potato). Any by-product generated along the production cycle will be valorized in a cascade manner to reach over 40% of high value use of the waste. This will lead to additional production of active ingredients in lower concentration, but also fibres, biogas and fertilizers from the left biomass (the latter with the aim of being used in closed loop in the culture of the crops used in the project to prevent soil impoverishing). An LCA and LCC will also study the best approach to minimize the environmental impact of the new value chains without jeopardizing the cost effectiveness of the operations. The pilot multi-feedstock bio-refinery processes will be validated in two demonstration sites in Spain and Italy. Societal, ethical, safety, techno-feasibility and regulatory aspects will be studied. Last but not least, a business model and platform for communication between the potential raw materials suppliers will be set up to maximize the use of the cooperative treatment plants throughout the year.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: NMP-02-2015 | Award Amount: 6.92M | Year: 2015

Nanocomposites are promising for many sectors, as they can make polymers stronger, less water and gas permeable, tune surface properties, add functionalities such as antimicrobial effects. In spite of intensive research activities, significant efforts are still needed to deploy the full potential of nanotechnology in the industry. The main challenge is still obtaining a proper nanostructuring of the nanoparticles, especially when transferring it to industrial scale, further improvements are clearly needed in terms of processing and control. The OptiNanoPro project will develop different approaches for the introduction of nanotechnology into packaging, automotive and photovoltaic materials production lines. In particular, the project will focus on the development and industrial integration of tailored online dispersion and monitoring systems to ensure a constant quality of delivered materials. In terms of improved functionalities, nanotechnology can provide packaging with improved barrier properties as well as repellent properties resulting in easy-to-empty features that will on the one hand reduce wastes at consumer level and, on the other hand, improve their acceptability by recyclers. Likewise, solar panels can be self-cleaning to increase their effectiveness and extend the period between their maintenance and their lifetime by filtering UV light leading to material weathering. In the automotive sector, lightweight parts can be obtained for greater fuel efficiency. To this end, a group of end-user industries from Europe covering the supply and value chain of the 3 target sectors and using a range of converting processes such as coating and lamination, compounding, injection/co-injection and electrospray nanodeposition, supported by selected RTDs and number of technological SMEs, will work together on integrating new nanotechnologies in existing production lines, while also taking into account nanosafety, environmental, productivity and cost-effectiveness issues.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.2.6-01 | Award Amount: 2.57M | Year: 2013

CARODEL aims to valorise the results from the previous FP7 COLORSPORE project, in which initial isolation and characterization work was performed on Bacillus strains producing gastric-stable carotenoids. As the stability in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), antioxidant activity and bioavailability of particular Bacillus carotenoids was shown to be higher than those of common dietary carotenoids, the conclusions from COLORSPORE provided strong and compelling reasons to support further development and commercialisation of these bacteria-derived carotenoids. CARODEL will therefore focus on the development of an efficient oral delivery strategy of such highly active carotenoids, in combination with evaluation of potential direct health-beneficial (probiotic) activity of the Bacillus delivery vehicle, with the ultimate aim to improve biomarkers associated with (the prevention of) cardiovascular disease (CVD). The relevance of using carotenoids for CVD prevention was recently shown by a positive EFSA opinion on the use of tomato lycopene for maintenance of a healthy blood flow. In practice, effective delivery of the carotenoids to the human body will be compared upon administration as i) vegetative Bacillus cells, ii) Bacillus spores or iii) extracted carotenoids. In parallel, the ability of the Bacillus strain to exert bona fide effects (i.e., effects on the host microbiota, metabolism and immunity) will be investigated using in vitro gut models and in vivo rat studies. Based on this, the best delivery strategy will be selected and validated in a human study, in which carotenoid bioavailability will be validated as well as endpoints related to CVD biomarkers and potential probiotic activity. In combination with a full safety assessment, a proof-of-concept production strategy and development of a business plan, the scientific evidence compiled in this project will provide a framework for efficient further commercialisation of a well-documented Bacillus carotenoid product


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BIOTEC-02-2016 | Award Amount: 6.57M | Year: 2016

VOLATILE aims in the development of an innovative Volatile Fatty Acids Platform for the bioconversion of municipal solid bio-waste fraction and sludgy biowaste from other industries. The platform will be integrated in anaerobic digestion. The volatile fatty acids will be recovered continuously using sophisticated membrane technology and will be provided as feedstock / carbon source for value added fermentation approaches such as biopolymer PHA to be tested in material applications, single cell oil as precursor for oleochemical industry as well as long chain unsaturated health-promoting Omega-3 fatty acids to be used as food ingredient or nutraceutical. PHA will be obtained by bacterial fermentations, single cell oil from yeast cultivation and Omega-3 fatty acids via heterotrophic microalgae. The process development will be accompanied with sophisticated LCA study in order to ensure environmental friendly process design. The project will also work on solutions to typical barriers beside others such as quality requirements, continuous and sufficient feedstock supply or interaction between members of value chain using agent-based modelling. Also the effect of legal stimuli and restrictions and subsidies and taxes will be studied and a link between product requirements and markets will be established. VOLATILE will prepare a Roadmap indicating future research needs but also giving suggestion for legislative improvements. A CEN workshop will be initiated to discuss with external stakeholders rules for the VFAP & to set up standard requirements in the form of a CEN workshop Agreement.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: NMP-21-2014 | Award Amount: 6.97M | Year: 2015

The project NANO-CATHEDRAL aims at developing, with a nano-metric scale approach, new materials, technologies and procedures for the conservation of deteriorated stones in monumental buildings and cathedrals and high value contemporary architecture, with a particular emphasis on the preservation of the originality and specificity of materials. The objective is providing key tools for restoration and conservation: On representative lithotypes On European representative climatic areas With a time-scale/environmental approach With technology validated in relevant environment (industrial plant and monuments) Exploiting results also on modern stone made buildings A general protocol will be defined for the identification of the petrographic and mineralogical features of the stone materials, the identification of the degradation patterns, the evaluation of the causes and mechanisms of alteration and degradation, including the correlations between the relevant state of decay and the actual microclimatic and air pollution conditions. Moreover, innovative nano-materials will be developed suitable for: Surface consolidation: in this case water-based formulations based on nano-inorganic or nano-hybrid dispersions such as nano-silica, nano-titania, nano-hydroxyapatite, nano-calcite and nano-magnesia as well as their synergic combinations with organic and inorganic compounds will be considered. Surface protection: in this case, innovative composites will be developed consisting of polymers and nano-fillers. The use of hydrophobins, nano-assembled hydrofobic proteins extracted from fungi, and photocatalytic nano-particles (for favoring the decomposition of volatile organic molecules carried by polluted atmosphere and to prevent biofilm growth) will be considered. The project will contribute to the development of transnational cultural tourism and to the development of common European shared values and heritage, thus stimulating a greater sense of European identity.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.3-03 | Award Amount: 8.05M | Year: 2013

Application of standards, certification schemes and labels has positive long-term effects on the overall development of the European bio-based product market. Good product information that presents correct claims to industry and public procurers is vital for the usage of these new products. Ensuring the sustainable sourcing of raw materials and the effective bio-content are important additional steps for public confidence. Clear indication of their (comparative) functionality and the optimal possible end-of-life options, needs to underline their positive impact compared to the regular products. Finally, public acceptance comes with clear and harmonized labels on products and packages. The Open-Bio project aims at increasing the uptake speed of standards, labels and harmonized product information lists for bio-based products. It covers research and demonstration on direct and indirect biomass content methods, biodegradability and ecotoxicity tests. Practical solutions for stakeholders, lab and field tests on for instance sampling or capability of being recycled or digested in a gasifier will be studied. Goal is to copy results one-to-one into European standards and product information lists. These form the basis for a database on bio-based products. A label will be developed in order to clearly distinguish bio-based products on the basis of the functionality laid down in standards. Both the information lists and the labels will be tested on their social acceptance via a set of target groups. New research on isotopes, marine bio-degradation and intended end-of-life options such as digestibility and recyclability, distinguishes this project from an on-going FP7 project called KBBPPS. All partners thereof participate in Open-Bio. By participating in the Standardization Committee, CEN/TC 411, on Bio-based products (its Secretariat being one of the partners) and by doing pre- and co-normative research for them, Open-Bio allows the European stakeholders to progress.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-IA-DEMO | Phase: BBI.VC3.D5-2015 | Award Amount: 8.14M | Year: 2016

The project aims at the valorization of agricultural residues coming from mushroom (Agaricus Bisporus) farming residues as a case to set up new cascading possibilities using innovative procedures to extract high value bio-based additives (antioxidants, antimicrobials, proteins), convert lipids into bioplasticizers and polysaccharides (glucans and fermentable sugars) into biopolymers using remaining side streams in substrates to close the agricultural cycle by composting and/or biogas synthesis. The funguschain project will demonstrate its industrial viability by building a new biorefinery that will use cost-effective extraction technologies (MAE and HWPE) revalorizing more than 65% of waste into valuable additives. These additives will be incorporated into high added value products and industrially validated towards 3 key value chains in the European economy (food, cleaning and plastic sectors). Industrial lines from end-users will be modified and adapted to the developed products. These products are: food supplements for elderlies, cleaning products, novel biobased thermoplastic masterbatches, bioplasticizers and industrial film products (thin bags and gloves <15 microns, partially recycled thick bags >50 microns and mulching). A business strategy to valorise the products in a collaborative manner will be designed, leading to safe, sustainable, economically viable and attractive products acceptable to consumers. Partners will ensure that products meet legal and market requirements. The project will forge and propel industries growing within the frame of the European bioeconomy, boosting the community network. The consortium involves 16 partners (4 RTDs, 4 Large industry and 8 SMEs) accounting with 5 BBI full members and 3 associate members. Funguschain project has a duration of 48 months and a total estimated budget of 8,143,661 M plus 3,500,000M in additional activities dedicated to the construction of the DEMO biorefinery plant.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-IA-DEMO | Phase: BBI.D7-2015 | Award Amount: 6.61M | Year: 2016

Genencor International BV has recently developed a new enzyme product, C1-LC4, that in recent field trials has shown a promising 10% cost-reduction in the production of biogas from organic waste. Although the efficacy of the enzyme has clearly been shown, the current fermentation process does not provide sufficient yield in industrial production to be cost-effective for large-scale application. The objective of DEMETER is to increase the yield of this industrial fermentation process by at least 20%, improve the product recovery process by 40%, and reduce overall product cost by at least 15% while increasing the productivity of the process. In addition, DEMETER will demonstrate the efficacy of the enzyme in 8 field trials in biogas plants throughout Europe. The DEMETER consortium includes the entire value chain: enzyme producer Genencor International, enzyme retailer Miavit, the pilot plant BioBase Europe Pilot Plant, anaerobic digester expert OWS, independent biogas research centre DBFZ, Ciaotech for independent economic and environmental evaluation, and large farm, Biomoer, for field trials. DEMETER follows a multi-scale approach. First, the enzyme productivity will be improved on lab- and small pilot-scale, while obtaining insights for further scale-up. In parallel, the effect of enzymes on biogas yield will be quantified, using 5 commonly used biomass substrates. The improved fermentation and downstream process will be scaled up and demonstrated in a 15 000 L pilot plant. Finally, the improvement of the biogas production process due to the use of the C1-LC4 enzyme will be demonstrated in practice in 8 field trials. The results of these field trials will be fed back to further improve the production process and its yield. Ultimately, DEMETER will not only produce a fermentation process with increased yield, an improved product recovery process resulting in reduced production costs. The resulting product will lead to an increase in renewable biogas production in Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.09M | Year: 2014

This research proposal intends to develop innovative plastic bottles and bags manufactured in biodegradable materials that fulfil the requirements for packaging of different types of dairy products. One of the main drawbacks for the wide application of biodegradable materials currently available on the market in certain applications is their thermal resistance, in comparison with traditional plastics such as high density polyethylene, HDPE or polyethylene terephtalate, PET. Biodegradable materials show a limited range of temperatures of use, up to 50-60C depending on their composition. Plastic bottles and bags intended for packaging of dairy products are subjected to medium-high temperature during sterilization and transportation, and therefore thermal stability of the material is a major drawback of biodegradable resins to be introduced into this wide market. To overcome these limitations the use of reactive extrusion is proposed. The process essentially forms chemical bonds between the polymer chains resulting in a dense network of very high molecular weight. This polymer becomes less mobile when subjected to heat or mechanical loads, and with this, properties such as heat distortion, ESCR, creep and abrasion resistance are enhanced. The main challenge in this project will be modifying the chemical structure of the biodegradable materials to increase thermal resistance without decreasing their mechanical resistance and their biodegradability properties for plastic bottles and pouches for the packaging of different types of dairy products.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-1 | Phase: SIE-01-2014-1 | Award Amount: 71.43K | Year: 2015

OWS wants to commercialize a biological process that converts CO2 and H2 (after electrolysis of renewable electricity) to CH4 (main component in natural gas). Lab and pilot tests have been and are being conducted and show promising results. A next step in the development is creating a sound business model for further commercialization, and the construction of a first plant at full-scale for further optimization and demonstration purposes to potential clients. As renewable energy sources are gaining more ground in the electricity mix in Europe, imbalance problems on the electricity grid will increase in frequency. The proposed concept offers a solution to this imbalance problem by converting excess electricity via hydrolysis to H2 and using (waste) CO2 to CH4 that can be injected into the gas grid. The advantage of the proposed system is the small scale (< 10 MWe), so the conversion can be done near the production sites. When there is an excess of renewable electricity, fees are paid to the operators of renewable electricity for not producing, thus avoiding grid imbalance. Although this approach is understandable from a balancing perspective, it is contradictory to a sustainable approach and in conflict with the existing renewable energy targets. Therefore, producers of renewable electricity are a first important target group for our technology. CO2-intensive industries are a second important target group. By recycling their waste CO2, they become more sustainable, and it can generate extra revenues from buffering activities. During the feasibility study, OWS wants to elaborate a sound business plan for further development of the technology. It should result in a clear vision on technical, economic and legal issues. The final goal is to build a first full-scale demonstration plant in phase 2, which can serve as a test facility for further optimization (technical/biological), but also as a demonstration plant for potential customers.

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