Concluded Innovation Projects
When an innovation project is concluded it will be displayed in the tabs beneath.
Ellegaard’s objective was to develop a new method for establishment of sugar cane, sorghum and giant miscanthus. This through using the Ellepot system for stem propagation in which paper pots are used for a more resource efficient sprouting. If successful less plant material will be needed for re-planting e.g. sugar cane fields every 5th year, fields with more evenly distributed plants will render higher biomass yield and mechanical planting will be possible.
The innovation project was within BioValue project 1: To optimize land management, logistics, biomass harvesting and storage.
The main conclusions for each of the three species were:
Sugar cane: It was possible to reach the target of 85 % sprouting after 31 days even in the small pots.
Sorghum: The target of 85 % sprouting was not reached for sorghum. It is concluded from the experiments that mother plants need to be older than 27 days.
Miscanthus: Acceptable sprouting percentages were achieved (38 – 97 %).
The experiments with Ellepot show that this pot type is superior to plastic pots when producing seedlings, simply because the paper pot offers protection to the root of the seedling.
Industrial and Societal Results
For Ellegaard the project provided very useful information on three main issues:
- Chip size to provide sprouting
- Quality of cane raw material during storage
- Ellepot is once again confirmed to hold an advantage against plastic containers, tubes or trays. This is vital for the customer choice of which system to use.
Companies developing new varieties of sugar cane could be the initial users of this propagation system. Today’s propagation of a new variety clones using tissue culture is more expensive and time consuming. Using the Ellepot chip system can provide a faster way to propagate new variety clones for the commercial market.
The report from University of Copenhagen will be used by Ellegaard for marketing purposes and Ellegaard will use the results to inspire customers to test the Ellepot system.
The fact that Ellepot chip system does work for sorghum and some varieties of miscanthus is interesting and useful information for Ellegaard. It could expand business opportunities using the Ellepot system in new applications.
One of the major players in the Brazilian sugar cane industry is currently testing the new propagation system using Ellepot.
University of Copenhagen and Ellegaard have started a collaboration with Prof. Dr. Gaspar H. Korndörfer, in Brazil in order to continue the innovation project under tropical conditions.
”BioValue projektet har givet rygstødet til at åbne døren til et antal erhvervsmæssige samarbejder, hvoraf flere fortsat er i proces. Projektet har været afgørende for Borregaard Bioplant i etableringen af et godt og frugtbart samarbejde”
Formålet med projektet har været at kvalificere Borregaard Bioplants beslutning omkring engagement og investering i udnyttelsen af saponin fra Bolivia, og senere fra øvrige planter herunder bl.a. sukkerroer.
Succes 1: Projektet har genereret og forankret viden om saponin i et nyt dansk videns- og innovationscenter: Saponin Innovation Center Europe (SICE)
Succes 2: Projektet er højst sandsynligt fundamentet for etablering af et fysisk pilotanlæg med udvinding af højværdistoffer fra i første omgang ”saponin-affald”, som i dag udgør en reelt miljøproblem, og sidenhed øvrige danskproducerede biomasser.
Rå-saponin-prøver fra størstedelen af quinoa-produktionen i Bolivia er gennemført og kilder til varians i råmaterialet er undersøgt. Der kan være 50 % forskel på saponinindholdet i de dyrkede quinoa typer, men da forskellig type blandes i produktionen, har de biologiske faktorer ikke forretningsmæssig relevans. Maskintype, alder og indstilling/benyttelse giver en varians i rå-saponin produktionen på op til 30 %.
Udvalgte anvendelsesmuligheder for saponinen er belyst og det blev konkluderet at:
- Der er adskillige indikatorer for at anvendelse af saponin kan reducere dødelighed blandt smågrise, og stimulere fødeoptagelsen bland svin og kyllinger. Vi er her i dialog med en dansk virksomhed, der producere og sælger foder til landbruget, og forventer at indlede forsøg i 2016.
- Saponin af denne type kan anvendes som økologisk beskyttelse mod insekter
- Saponin formodentligt kan anvendes som konserveringsmiddel for nogle nichetyper af maling
- Saponin af denne type kan teknisk anvendes i sæbeindustrien, hvor den kan erstatte forbruget af palmeolie, som anses for miljøkritisk. Der er indledt konkrete forsøg med en større dansk sæbeproducent for at fastslå den vasketekniske effektivitet og dermed den økonomiske værdi til dette formål
En vurdering af markedsværdien af de fundne saponin-typer og protein-indholdet er udført og en forretningsplan er udarbejdet.
Det er fastslået, at der i dag er en interessant og tilgængelig råvare i Bolivia i form af en affaldsbiomasse fra quinoa produktionen, som i dag udgør en miljømæssig udfordring, men som i fremtiden kan udnyttes til industrielle formål.
Borregaard Bioplant har på baggrund af innovationsprojektet registreret et Boliviansk selskab samt et nyt dansk datterselskab: Saponin Innovation Center Europe (SICE). Det danske selskab skal søge at udnytte viden om Saponin generelt. Der arbejdes fortsat på en forfining af forretningsmodellen herunder dialog med potentielle investorer. SICE vandt 19.11 2015 Agro Business Parks Innovationskonkurrence inkl. 50.000,-. Se pressemeddelselse her.
Udtræk af proteiner og saponiner vurderes at kunne udvikles til en bæredygtig forretningsmodel for en egentlig raffinaderivirksomhed. På baggrund af de foreløbige resultater forventer Borregaard at have etableret en produktion i pilotskala inden udgangen af 2016 og en egentlig kommerciel produktion inden udgangen af 2018.
På basis af BioValue innovationsprojektet er der opnået en ny projekt-bevilling via Future Food Innovation, som har givet den økonomiske basis for at arbejde videre med nogle af de muligheder og udfordringer, som BioValue projektet har vist. Det nye samlede projektbudget udgør 1,5 mio. kr.
“BioValue gave us the opportunity to test ideas outside our core business.”
Optimizing the yield of triacylglycerol in a Solid State Fermentation using oleaginous fungi by enzymatic pre-treatment of the biomass.
The purpose was to optimize microbial (fungal) oil production via addition of enzymes to a solid state fermentation of waste biomass mainly consisting of lignocellulose. The aim of this approach is the development of enzymatic treatments as a means to reduce the amount of residual biomass remaining un-degraded at the end of solid state fermentations under conditions of microbial oil production. The project sought to establish, at small scale, a methodology to combine an enzymatic biomass degradation process with oleaginicity-induction in humid substrate biomass.
Four oleaginous fungal species were tested: Mortierella isabellina, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus oryzae and Cunninghamella blakesleeana.
Several biomasses were used, including straw and sugar beet pulp (= Fibrex)
Liquid culture: Preliminary trials to grow fungi on concentrated liquefied straw failed for all fungal species. The enzymatic degradation of the biomass at 50°C for 5 days at pH5.0 created a level of toxic products inhibitory to fungal growth. Sterilization of the straw substrate and detoxification measures were tested, but abandoned due to failure of fungal growth.
Liquid biomass dilution: in proper dilution, all four oleaginous fungal species were able to grow on liquefied straw. Using diluted liquefied straw and appropriate pH-adjustments, with NaOH to compensate for the acidic acid, generated during enzymatic biomass treatment, permitted successful air-lift cultures. The enzymatic digestion results for the straw were lower than expected.
Solid state conditions: In the figure below, from left to right, decreasing volumes of medium were added so that at the far right solid state fermentation conditions are established with % humidity between 42.5 and 85%. The liquid volume titration shows clearly that fungal growth is inhibited at % humility between 340 and 680%.
Conclusion: The results indicate that fungal growth can only be obtained with an excess of free water and that solid state fermentation conditions cannot be established because of the growth-inhibitory effect of toxic compounds generated through enzymatic pre-treatment of the biomass.
Industrial and societal results
AccumOil wanted to investigate the possibility of obtaining a higher level of biomass degradation by introducing a pre-treatment step with enzymes. As shown above, the addition of enzymes, challenges the solid state fermentation. As a result of AccumOil’s participation in BioValue, AccumOil is now again focusing on establishing a simple industrial process without enzymes. AccumOil still believes that the process is a direct step towards a biobased self-sustainable economy.
Project spin off
Being part of BioValue has led to collaboration with Aalborg University and a Grand Solution proposal in preparation for Innovation Fund Denmark.
As a result of AccumOil’s participation in Biovalue, a connection was established with Agro Business Park A/S, which resulted in extensive consulting on AccumOil’s business plan, and participation in a trip to Graz, which lead to finding a potential new collaborator of high value.
Based on the research in the SME-project AccumOil could clarify processes and ideas that was not part of their core business and consequently re-focused their business plan.
“BioValue helped evaluate the possibility of developing new SiC based membranes.”
High enzyme immobilization on ceramic membranes for application in biorefineries
The project has provided the first steps of the proof of concept for efficient enzyme immobilization in silicon carbide membranes. The main purpose of the project was to evaluate the use of silicon carbide membranes (developed by LiqTech) as immobilization matrixes for enzymes with interest in biorefinery applications. Alcohol dehydrogenase was used as a model enzyme, to later on evaluate the technology on other enzymes for interest for the end-user.
The results shown in this study bring our attention to two important aspects that should be factored in when aiming for high immobilization performances of enzymes with low stability in silicon carbide (SiC) membranes.
First, immobilization can result in considerable decreases in enzyme activity compared to enzymes in free solution; in this case, activities corresponding to 12-45% of the activity of the free enzyme were achieved. In return, however, low stability enzymes can be used for much longer times, during which the activity can be maintained at a relatively low but still acceptable level. Here, the enzyme still displayed activity after being recycled 17 times with the two covalent immobilization methods. With chemically untreated SiC membranes, the PEI-GA immobilization method gave the highest substrate conversion, not least due to the fact that the PEI coating lowered the water permeability resulting in a longer reaction time. Being macroporous the membranes do not retain the enzyme. However, their use serves as an initial assessment of the suitability of sintered SiC membranes for enzyme immobilization, which can guide the future development of e.g. nanoporous SiC membranes for enzyme immobilization.
Secondly, and probably the most relevant aspect uncovered by this study is the dramatic effect resulting from treating the immobilization matrix material chemically. NaOH treatment caused an increase of hydroxyl groups on the membrane surface, which in turn resulted in profoundly higher enzyme loadings and enzyme activity with the covalent APTES-GA immobilization method. Nowadays, many of the studies on enzyme immobilization on inorganic materials focus on finding new agents for functionalization and/or activation of the membrane, or try to modify the enzyme or the enzyme environment to boost the activity. Interestingly, the high increase in activity observed after the alkali treatment suggest that this simple and inexpensive surface modification can provide better results than other more sophisticated strategies.
Industrial and societal results
By participating in this project, LiqTech has gathered results that will help evaluate the possibility of developing new SiC based products that can be used for biocatalytical processes.