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Recover and reuse enzymes to reduce costs of existing industrial processes

Develop effective enzyme technologies and processes with a substantial reduction of fresh enzyme intake while still achieving the same targeted process or reaction yield. Proposals should carry out a side-by-side comparison with the currently used processes, to highlight the impact of the new process in terms of energy and water consumption, total solids concentrations, reaction volumes and composition of residues, besides the process or reaction yield.

The projects should cover any Technology Readiness Level (TRL) from 3 to 5. In the case of a pilot scale project (TRL 5), proposals should present a credible cost estimate for the proposed processes with a preliminary assessment of their competitiveness when scaled up.

Proposals should also include an environmental and socio-economic assessment, for example with an LCA. In particular, when targeting TRL 5, proposals should include an LCA in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed processes.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget in the range of EUR 2-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.

Enzyme cost is a significant part of the overall cost of biomass conversion. One notable example being the large amount of cellulase enzymes needed for the hydrolysis of cellulose. A possible way to optimise costs is a partial or total recycle of the enzymes, permitting the same batch to process more than one cycle and/or to reduce the need for input of ‘fresh’ enzymes per cycle. Some approaches have been proposed, but the yield and costs still need significant improvement to allow feasible industrial application.

  • Proven innovative technologies for improving enzyme-efficiency, achieving an improvement in reuse of at least 30%.
  • Demonstrated continued efficiency of the enzyme-batch for several cycles with no or minimal input of fresh enzymes.
  • Contribution to the BBI JU Key Performance Indicators (KPI), specifically:
    • Lead to the creation of at least 1 new cooperation project through cross-industry clusters (KPI 3).