Within the context of a circular economy, companies are increasingly looking for valuable applications for biomass. It is important that we are able to efficiently separate the different components of biomass. The EffSep project is strongly focused on this.
In progress
Nov 2019 - Feb 2024
DBC as an observer, National project

Valorisation of flows of byproducts is very important in the context of the circular bio-economy. Moreover, new types of biomass can be used as feedstock for the development of innovative food products. These new types of biomass may be flows of byproducts from the agrifood industry, but also new feedstock such as algae.

The SBO project EffSep aims to acquire knowledge on the stabilisation of biomass and the extraction of macrocomponents, such as proteins, sugars and fats. It aims to gain insight into the impact of unit operations for stabilising and extracting functional components, for breaking the cell wall and for the cellular organisation of biomass.

Through microscopic and analytical techniques, the cellular organisation will be visualised and interactions between macrocomponents will be measured. The aim is to use a combination of unit operations to develop the best possible process with a given functionality and stability of the macrocomponents.

The aim is to use unit operations that are scalable in an economically viable and ecologically sound manner and that conform to the legal framework. Potato peels, carrot pulp and micro-algae are the chosen model streams in the project’s first phase. Other types of biomass will be tested later on.

The project will result in a generic decision tree for the pretreatment of various types of biomass, allowing efficient and cost-effective separation of macrocomponents from flows of byproducts and alternative feedstock while maintaining their functionality. 

Partners:  Ghent University (coordinator), KU Leuven and Hasselt University

Clusters involved: Flanders' FOOD and Blue Cluster

Blue Cluster's role: Blue Cluster acts as observer in this project

With the support of:  VLAIO (Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

Contact: Lien Loosvelt