Projecttitel: Piloting biocommodities – testing, optimization & validation of novel and conventional fermentation feedstocks at pilot scale
Projectnummer: BBE-1607
Looptijd: 2017 – 2020
Budget publiek: € 1.018.000
Budget privaat: € 585.000
Projectleider: Isabel Arends
Betrokken partijen: BioDetection Systems, Bioprocess Pilot Facility, Corbion Purac Biochem, Delft Advanced Biorenewables, Delft University of Technology, DSM Food Specialties, MicroLife Solutions, VU University Amsterdam

The overall aim of this horizontal project BIOCOM proposed as TKI inzet project 2013-2014 & 2015 is to investigate the opportunities of addition of microbial-based solutions and optimizations to biomass pretreatment and test those against conventional fermentation at the pilot scale for several industrial products. The present day approach to use either steam explosion or other harsh thermal, acid or alkaline conditions is both energy demanding and environmentally unfriendly, and creates bulky side products as waste streams (e.g. gypsum). Additionally, the conventional pre-treatment of biomass creates a broad range of compounds which are inhibiting downstream biological processes, such as hydrolysis of the polysaccharides (if executed) and fermentation. Since these inhibitors are present in a complex mixture, which is dependent on the pre-treatment process and the chemical composition of the biomass feedstock, the risk assessment by means of chemical analysis is cumbersome. The latter approach will be taken up in TKI Inzet 2014-2015. Since lignocellulose is by far the largest terrestrial carbon sink and hence myriads of microorganisms are capable of lignocellulose bioconversion. By tapping into this biochemical diversity from selected ecosystems, solutions are found which may, in combination with (milder) conventional pretreatment methods, significantly improve the overall bioconversions of biomass with much less environmental impact and better fermentation opportunities due to e.g. a reduction of inhibitor formation, or enhanced breakdown thereof. In TKI inzet 2013 the proof of principle of the microbial bioconversion process in lignin degradation and fermentation inhibitor removal is tested. In TKI inzet 2014 & 2015 the aim is to explore nature for optimal enzyme cocktails by tapping into e.g., sources that contain industrially relevant microbes such as hot spring pools in Vietnam to compose enzyme cocktails and microorganisms with favourable kinetics, high temperature and extreme pH tolerance (extremophiles). A production system will be developed for these selected enzymes and the efficacy of several enzyme cocktails thus generated will be validated using biomass, pretreated biomass, hydrolysates as well as, and in comparison to, conventional streams at 8 m3 pilot scale as planned in the BioProcess Pilot (BPF) facility in Delft. Overall aim and results of this project and inzet project are expected to significantly improve our capacity to efficiently convert novel and conventional streams of feedstock into biofuels and biochemicals.