Positive spin-offs for SME-project with AccumOil

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Michael Janes from AccumOil being interviewed after their presentation at Greentech Innovators Club during business trip to Graz

Positive spin-offs for AccumOil though ambitious SME-project concept was unachievable.

CEO of AccumOil, Tanja Tybo, finds the participation in BioValue fruitful even though the concept that their SME-project rested upon turned out not to be achievable in practice.

Tanja explains: “AccumOil’s original business model was based on fungal degradation of solid biomass without the expensive pretreatment with enzymes. However, AccumOil wanted to investigate the possibility of obtaining a higher level of biomass degradation by introducing a pretreatment step with enzymes – and in that way establish, at small scale, a methodology combining enzymatic biomass degradation with oleaginicity-induction in humid substrate biomass”.

Unfortunately, the addition of enzymes challenged the solid state fermentation. After a year of systematically assessing and attempting to optimize the required growth of selected fungi on pretreated biomasses, a conclusion was reached: The desired fungal growth was essentially unsuccessful in solid state fermentation after enzymatically treatment of the biomass.

Read more about the purpose and the results here.

“It’s not all bad news”, says Tanja. “BioValue gave us the opportunity to test ideas outside our core business. As a result of AccumOil’s participation in Biovalue, a connection was established with Agro Business Park A/S. This has so far resulted in extensive consulting on AccumOil’s business plan, and AccumOil’s participation in a trip to Graz to present at Greentech Innovators club and visit several business”. One of the visits led to a second business meeting, and the companies are currently discussing the nature and terms of further collaboration. “We would never had known the existence of that company if we hadn’t participated in the Agro Business Park trip to Graz, and what they can deliver to our technology is of great value to us”, says Tanja.

As a result of AccumOil’s participation in BioValue, AccumOil is now again focusing on establishing a simple industrial process without enzymes and focusing on optimizing the following:

  • The waste biomass from the agro-alimentary industry (press cakes, wood chips, brewery wastes, potato processing wastes, sugar beet pulp) as growth substrates.
  • The development of a continuous solid state fermentation as low cost alternative to suspension cultures.