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KETBIO PARADE

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 768570.

INMARE

iMETLand

FlexJET

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Top EU Biotech

flexJET

James Hygate Founder & CEO

Flying with cooking oil

White Biotech: How the flexJET project is converting food waste and biomass into green jet fuels through biorefining

Sustainable Jet Fuel from Flexible Waste Biomass.

flexJET puts its efforts in the research and the commercialisation of a novel route to sustainable fuels for aviation. flexJET is already constructing Europe’s first commercial demonstration plant for the production of advanced aviation biofuels (jet fuel) exclusively from waste vegetable oil and using organic solid waste biomass....

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...biomass(food waste and sewage sludge), for the production of ‘Green’ hydrogen. The novel Sustainable Aviationthrough Biofuel Refining(SABR) process ensures a high quality Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) that is produced consistently from variable waste oils and fats.The project plant will produce 1,200 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel per year from food waste vegetable oil with dried organic waste used for the production of hydrogen utilized in the process. In total more than 4,000 tonnes of waste will be taken out of the environment. A subsequent scale-up first commercial plant is planned to be constructed immediately after the project completion to produce 25,000 tonnes per year of sustainable aviation fuel.

What it's forThe high-quality Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) will contribute to the decarbonization of the aviation industry. Building and extending from previous framework funding the high expert consortium composed of research and industry aims to set the benchmark for future sustainable aviation biofuels development that can be produced at both large and decentralized scales economically whilst simultaneously addressing social and environmental needs.

Technology approachThe innovative, scalable process combinesSustainable Aviationthrough Biofuel Refining (SABR , traditional transesterification technology, then hydro-processing and fractionation) for the upgrading of biodiesel through organic waste fats with the Thermo-Catalytic Reforming (TCR®) technology for the production of green hydrogen. The hydrogen is then separated through pressure swing adsorption (PSA).Non-food competing waste vegetableoils (Used cooking oil, UCO) are transformed into SAF in line with existing standards (HEFA route – ASTM D7566, Annex 2). Using hydrogen from residual biomass conversion and using renewable process energy enables a significant reduction in the remaining CO2 footprint.In the future step, SAF output could be increased by co-refining the oils and fats withbiocrude oil, a by-product of the TCR process. If the results are promising this pathway could become a candidate for a future ASTM approvals process.TRL: 6-9for different processes and componentsFLEXJET engineers highlight the following advantages:The process ishighly scalableand less capital intense since it can be integrated into the existing aviation fuel infrastructureIt produces asustainable, cost-competitive aviation fuelby combining regional and local supply and demand strategies in a circular economyIt contributes to the Renewable Energy Directive Targets in Europe and to the fulfilment of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) goals.

Commercialisation factsflexJET is a commercial demonstration project. A detailed business model has been put together. The industry partners in the project have a strong interest to exploit the technology, pursuing different exploitation routes globally.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.flexjetproject.euJames Hygate, CEO Green Fuels LtdB21, Gloucestershire Science & Technology Park,Berkeley Green, Berkeley GL13 9FB, UKjames@greenfuels.co.ukwww.greenfuels.co.uk

INTERVIEW

“Biojetfuels make the difference in greening airlines”

Interview with James Hygate, CEO Green Fuels Ltd., flexJET technology and facility provider.

James Hygate Founder & CEO

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Could you sum-up the novelty of the flexJET technology, please?James Hygate:Since 2003 Green Fuels has pioneered sustainable, waste derived biofuels. The outputs from the flexJET project will add value to existing biofuel producers to enabling the upgrading biodiesel to an aviation fuel on a decentralized scale. To provide a truly sustainable fuel we’re using ‘Green Hydrogen’ in the process produced from organic wastes. In the project, there are many novel elements enabling a fully biogenic jet fuel - the most sustainable you will find in aviation.What are the main features of the flexJET demo plant?James Hygate:Our demo plant works with three key technologies, optimizing biorefining. Linking them leads to green fuels based on simplified and standardized processes.How sustainable is your bio kerosene?James Hygate:Our novel SABR process allows the use of 100% waste derived oils and fats. Renewable hydrogen is produced through a TCR process with no fossil fuel involved. We are flexible, converting different types of food oil waste into one standardized product, simplifying and saving costs in the hydro-processing and fractionation steps. Even our crude glycerol by-product is used onsite for the production of hydrogen, making the process fully circular.How big is the interest of industry?James Hygate:Airlines are keen to see us commercialise because they need to de-carbonize. We are currently developing sustainable jet fuel projects globally, and hope to commercialise our SABR process before the flexJET project is ended in 2022.Is the interest outside Europe bigger?James Hygate:The opportunities globally are huge. Our first commercial facility will be in Brazil, where huge amounts of sustainable feedstock are available. The planning for North America, California, are more incentive driven. We are also looking to Hong Kong where enormous volumes of waste oils are available within the Pearl River Delta. In Brazil our refinery is linked to a reforestation programme where 75,000 hectares of degraded land will be re-forested. It’s encouraging to see that the stakeholders want the fuels as green as possible.When do you plan to expand in Europe?James Hygate:flexJET has its demonstration facility in the UK. In Europe the availability of feedstock is an issue. Here, scale comes in and we need to work on decentralized solutions, because feedstock does not travel. We can use existing biodiesel capacities, with 100-150 tons a day in smaller plants by supplying them with our upgrades. This makes us less capital intense.Are the advantages of the project in the cooperation with existing industries?James Hygate:The flexJET approach allows huge flexibility in feedstock use, the scale enables production close to different waste streams, being close to end users and, on top, being close to cutting edge R&D.How do the results of the Life Cycle Assessment look like?James Hygate:Our carbon savings are more than 80%, which is of great interest to the airlines. The cooking oil- to- fuel ratio is one to one, with around 60% being jet. We are optimising the fractions through co-product applications for future approval; we want to utilize everything. And the amount of circular organic waste disposal with the technology is unique. In biorefining often the scaling-up causes the hurdles. How is that with you?James Hygate:The devil is not in the SABR process. There are challenges in the second stage, fractionation, although this simplified through our front-end processing.. With inexpensive fossil crude prices we need to stick to a simple and straight forward process.Can the low fossil prizes affect your business model?James Hygate:The reality is, that SAF is more expensive than fossil jet fuel. Nevertheless, globally the demand for green fuels is rising. Legislation asks for 10% quotas of biojetfuel in 2030, and for 20% in 2040. With that, we will be going with proportions that are not so significant in cost, but significant in carbon impact. It is clear that Sustainable Aviation Fuels are the only viable way to decarbonize aviation.What kind of incentives do you expect to boost the green aviation?James Hygate:We expect a greater environmental awareness in post-COVID times. The aviation business will be smaller but greener. Look to California, they are promoting biofuels with laws and subsidies. Europe will follow, because the airlines buy internationally. It`s in all of our interest.Thank you verymuch for this interview!

whatsay

people

"We want to explore a powerful alternative for sustainable aviation fuel to maximise the carbon benefits for aviation"

Stakeholders: flexJET project video

"Best scores in Commitment and Resources"; "High market potential"

Evaluators: KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market Experts

"Excellent stakeholders and commercial partners"; “Regulation and de-taxing biobased Jet Fuel, Tax on CO2 would speed-up market entrance"

Evaluators:KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry experts

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Top EU Biotech

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iMETLand

Abraham Esteve-Núñez Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Faster,smaller,biotech

iMETLand® is engineering nature to clean upwastewater

A new generation ofMicrobial Electrochemical Wetland for effective decentralized wastewater treatment.

iMETLand has developed a water bio-filtration system based on microbial electrochemistry technology to degrade organic waste and pollutants. The project has validated a full-scale application of an eco-friendly device to treat urban wastewater at zero-energy operation cost in small communities. The project concept came from the integration of MicrobialElectrochemical Technologies (MET) into the nature-based concept used in constructed wetlands.

What it's for

Technology approach

Commercialisation facts

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What it's for

Technology approach

Commercialisation facts

Contact

Top EU Biotech

What it's forWith the application precious water resources can be saved for reuse in a circular and sustainable way. Furthermore, vegetation removes nutrients, fixes CO2, and contributes to landing beautification. The low footprint from operational units is saving land resources and cost. Newest EU water treatment and recycling regulations are met.

Technology approachThe system works on the scientific basis from microbial electrochemistry.With an outstanding property of electron transfer between species, microbes from Geobacter genus bacterium are used in a biofilm together with electro conducting materials to activate metabolizing bacteria that eliminate and mineralize organic matter in liquid waste.Engineers of iMETLand, an EU-funded HORIZON 2020 research project, highlight several advantages against classic constructed wetland systems:Outperforming classical biofilters: the combination of electroactive bacteria with electroconductive material leads to 10-fold higher depuration rates than classical nature-based solutions.Landing Beautification: the presence of plants allows a suitable integration in the landscape.Zero-Energy operation cost: METland units are designed to work under grid-free conditions;ICT remote control: the conversion of sewage treatment into electric current can be used as an output signal to control the water quality through a user´s app;TRL-levels 8/9 have been reached: the actual system is proven in operational environment.

Commercialisation factsUp to 25,000 litres a day can be cleaned in urban settlements. However, iMETLand treats not only domestic sewage, but also industrial wastewater. Instead of sending it to general municipality water treatment, companies will have a sustainable tool to treat it on site and reuse the clean water for their own purpose,’ says Dr Abraham Esteve-Núñez, project coordinator of the iMETLand project and CEO of the spin-off company METfilter. Demo plants are operating in Spain, Denmark, Argentina, Mexico and UK. Furthermore, the system is fully operational on a camping site for treating wastewater from1,000 dwellers.As an instrument to speed up market uptake, the spin-off METFilter, owned by the Spanish water tech companies iMdea and CENTA, has been set-up. The METfilter spin-off is ready to construct or to license the solution to some of the “willing-to-pay”users that have shown interest from all over the world.

ContactFind more on the project website and project webinar:www.imetland.euhttps://ketbio.eu/recording?id=7025&app=infoDr. AbrahamEsteve-NúñeziMdea water, Parque Científico Tecnológico de la Universidad de lcalá;Avenida Punto Com, 2; 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Madridabraham.esteve@imdea.orgwww.imdea.org

INTERVIEW

“We needsome early adopters for real market breakthroughs”

Interview with Abraham Esteve-Núñez, coordinator of iMETLand project.

Abraham Esteve-Núñez, coordinator of iMETLand project

Top EU Biotech

With the iMETland EU project and through the iMETland® technology, you have created a water bio-purification system based on microbial electrochemistry. In brief: bacteria oxidise organic waste by respiring an electrically conductive material. How long did it take you to develop the technology?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:We launched our first proof of concept for the iMETland® system in 2011. The idea was to combine our knowledge in microbial electrochemistry with the use of a classic nature-based solution like a constructed wetland to develop a novel hybrid system that works faster and is more efficient. The system consists of electroactive microbial communities reacting with an electrically conductive bed that consumes the organic matter in the wastewater. What is left behind?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:Just clean water and those non-biodegradable substrates (e.g. minerals) present in water. After disinfection, the treated water can be reused for irrigation, flushing toilets or in industry.Do detergents from households pose a problem for the water purification process?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:Not really.We have already proved that our bacteria can deal with soap and detergents. For instance, a Belgian sports association are going to implement the system to clean up the grey water from their showers and, eventually, reuse the water.What type of microbes are active in the technology?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:The central bacteria are Geobacter –iron-respiring microbes with outstanding electrically conductive properties. They were discovered in the USA some 30 years ago. Geobacter are actually like an adapter plug to connect the metabolisms of different cleaning bacteria with the electrically conductive bed. There is no need to feed the colonies in the system anything extra.Does the conductive material need to be replaced over time?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:In contrast with the gravel beds used in standard constructed wetland systems, our technology works with naturally occurring electrically conductive char, either mineral or made from wood residues (biochar). The first demo was implemented eight years ago in Spain, and we have not considered replacing the material.Can the technology eliminate antibiotics, which are a huge problem in farming and urban wastewaters?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:Yes, we can get rid of these pharma residues with a specific solution. We have just published a paper describing how to degrade antibiotics in polluted pig manure and urban wastewater.Could the electrical energy generated by the microbes also be used to operate the IT-monitoring tool?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:In fact, the amount of energy that can be harvested is small. At the moment, we have configured the system to use the electrical current as a signal to inform the user about the water quality.What’s the main advantage of iMETland over classic constructed wetland systems?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:The combination of electroactive bacteria and electroconductive materials leads to 10-fold higher depuration rates. And the higher activity reduces the physical footprint. In classic systems we need 3–5 m² of land per person, iMETland®requires only 0.4 m² per person. This advantage is key when offering a competitive solution in the market. The technology has been approved for settlements of 200 people, with 25 m³ of water cleaned daily. What capacities would be needed for bigger urban settlements?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:iMETland® is ready for bigger systems, we have already constructed a system for 1 000 people in a Natural Park, and we could probably satisfy the needs of communities 10 times bigger than that. However, the major barrier to upscaling is the fact that medium-sized and large towns in Europe already have their wastewater treatment in place. Nevertheless, there are at least 40 million people in Europe without proper wastewater treatment. In many rural areas, septic tanks are common, but they will come under pressure as a result of new EU legislative requirements.What are the main bottlenecks for a wider market uptake?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:These are social and administrative barriers: decision takers in municipalities are sometimes risk averse in terms of installing innovative systems. We now need to increase the number of early adopters. They can provide positive examples and make administrations comfortable with this new application. In contrast, industrial niches seem to be more receptive to our solution, we have developed demos for the oil and gas, food and beverage, and livestock sectors.Where are your fastest growing markets?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:We are focusing on public buildings in cities. Already, all the wastewater generated by employees at IMDEA Water in Spain or INTEMA in Argentina is treated with our system. Moreover, iMETland® is global, we are testing in emerging markets like China. Thank you very much for this interview!

whatsay

people

"How much of water do you waste every day? Did you know that you need:15,000 liters of water to produce only a slice of beef.600 liters of water for a liter of wine.1,200 for a pizza.Water is not unlimited. We have to become a waterwise society"

Stakeholders:iMETLand, promotional video

Top EU Biotech

"Good growth potential in environmental biotechnology markets"; "High market attractiveness, high commercial readiness"

Evaluators:KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market experts

"A great application of distributed processing that looks like it will be able to succeed economically!"

Evaluators:KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry experts

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INMARE

Prof. Peter Golyshin coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Greener industries through enzymes from seas and oceans

Industrial Applications of Marine Enzymes: Innovative screening and expression platforms to discover and use the functional protein diversity from the sea.

The project has succeeded to screen and discover the functional protein diversity from the sea by providing robust enzymes with valuable properties (‘allrounders’) for industrial use, established innovative screening tools, sequence analysis and expression platforms...

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INMARE’s goal was to bioprospect for new enzymes and bioactive compounds in extreme marine environments and use them for new industrial applications

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INMARE

Top EU Biotech

What it's forThe need for more sustainable and cleaner industrial processesdrives demand for new industrially useful biocatalysts. The project therefore searched for, and identified the, micro-organisms that already live in extreme environments such as those found in seas and oceans. If they survive in those places, they can be expected to perform in equally harsh industrial conditions. These ‘allrounder’ enzymes (i.e. catalyzing multiple reactions) can be used in more than one industrial setting and may lead to cleaner, safer and cheaper products to fight pollution and to promote health.

Commercialisation factsFour patentshave been filed, and one start-up was founded. The industrial companies involved in the project are leaders in enzyme production and biocatalysis, they have the necessary commercial motivation to exploit the results, and other partners have option rights. No third party customer needs analysis, nor consumer testing have been conducted so far.

ContactFind more on the project website and project video:www.inmare-h2020.euwww.youtube.comProfessor Peter GolyshinSchool of Natural Sciences, Bangor University,Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UKp.golyshin@bangor.ac.ukwww.inmare-h2020.eu

...Their main achievements were: a unique resource of microorganisms, gene libraries and enzymes derived from unique extremophilic marine environments; a series of innovative screening methods; a set new natural and engineered enzymes successfully tested in industrial processes at a pilot-scale; and a novel anti-tumor compound.

Technology approachThe project aimed at shortening and streamlining the industrial bio-enzyme discovery pipeline. It selected ‘frequent hitters’, the enzymes that allow, due to their extremophilic origin, the often unsuccessful enzyme improvement stages to be shortened or omitted. Advanced technologies were used to access and sample unique maritime hot-spots; vast collections of marine enzymes and metagenomic libraries have been built, and innovative shotgun sequencing data were applied to screen many different activities. A total of 947 enzymes have been identified, and 10 protein crystal structures were resolved with 15 ready-to-use biocatalysts for small-scale processes. The project found markers for substrate promiscuity in esterases and transaminases, and identified enzymes important in biocatalysis. Development and deliverytime has been reduced from seven to three years. Scaling-up the processes from lab to pilot stage is the main challenge.TRL:2–7INMARE engineers highlight:Large collection of enzymes, screening platforms with different substrates usable for many industrial settings.Target markets are: pharmaceuticals and pharma intermediates; processing industries; health and medical technologies including animal health; home care products; food and agricultural feed products, including enzymes for processing, animal feed and nutraceuticals.Some of the identified enzymes already perform better than current commercial products.

INTERVIEW

“The bottlenecksfor a faster market entry are in scaling up”

Interview with Prof. Peter Golyshin, INMARE coordinator, about commercialisation in blue biotechnology.

Prof. Peter Golyshin, coordinator of INMARE project

Top EU Biotech

INMARE has discovered and patented few applications of marine enzymes and biomolecules, which have been discovered during this blue biotechnology research. Which was the most promising of them?Peter Golyshin:One of the most interesting discoveries was an anti-tumor compound, a new polyketide, which was derived from a bacterial symbiont by our project partner PharmaMar. Normally it takes a long time and many resources to discover and to identify new drugs test them and get an approval for clinical applications, this discovery through our research project therefore was very valuable. What is about the start-up that was founded at the end of the project ? Are there any lead products that can be exploited for a commercialisation?Peter Golyshin:The start-up, "Biomatter Designs, UAB" has established an elegant screening platform in bioengineered Escherichia coli, which uses pro-chromogenic substrates and auxiliary enzyme for detection of enzymatic reaction. They work with clients with an interest to enzymes of industrial importance: nitrilases, esterases, oxygenases, amidases and alcohol dehydrogenases. This system allows chromogenic screening of a very broad spectrum of enzyme substrates.Which of the INMARE results are most to the interest of big industries?Peter Golyshin:Some of the companies look specifically for chemical conversion reactions, others are more interested in bulk enzymes production for a variety for applications. The chemical company involved in INMARE project, found efficient enzymes and patented (together with academic partners) their application in biocatalytic processes for crop protection and pharmaceuticals.Do you also see markets for alternative proteins that could be covered from marine microorganisms or from algae?Peter Golyshin:Of course, many enzymes are useful for converting (literally) green and renewable feedstock, e.g. macro- and microalgae or agricultural waste, into the monomeric compounds. These can either be used for single-cell protein production, for production of biofuels, or even for synthesis of bio-based polymers. These are straight forward applications for green products with hydrolising and fermenting microbes.Could there come alternatives for meat from the deep-sea microgorganisms?Peter Golyshin:In fact, we see a renaissance of approaches that have been common 50 years ago. Single-cell protein production is coming back to a new level, with synthetic/engineered strains that produce protein (for food or feed) from substrates like methanol, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which contributes to sustainable development and is benign to the environment. Our project did not deal with this particular field, but came at the right time: our enzymes can potentially be applicable in bioremediation of e.g. polyesters (plastics), which is a very hot topic. Environmental pollution is however an eternal problem, and the searches for new biotechnological approaches for environmental cleanup will be important in the future as well. Is process scaling-up in blue biotechnology still a bottleneck for a faster entry into the markets?Peter Golyshin:The discovery of new enzymes is relatively straightforward, the upscaling is the barrier. Typically, everything works well in a small tube in laboratory, the problems start at a larger scale. To mimic the industrial processes we need intermediary steps closing the gap between the initial discovery (typically, done by academia) and industrial production. This actually is a good niche for SMEs and academic institutions active in bioprocess engineering. But they need funding and commitments from the industry to test the products at larger scales e.g. in 100 liter fermentations, for example.Where do you see the biggest hurdles for a better commercialization or research results?Peter Golyshin:It’spretty muchdifficult for academics to find out what the industry really wants. Clearly, the industry has different interests than academic researchers, because its nature lies in profit-making. For this, the industrial stakeholders need to ringfence their ideas by patenting for instance. Understandably, they never tell you what precisely they are actually working on, mostly only some ideas/proxies are floated. Very often though, there is a very strong mutual interest in collaboration, which is very well exemplified by INMARE.Does the INMARE consortium still cooperate?Peter Golyshin:A lot of unfinished business is waiting for us. We also have some core participants from INMARE, with whom we collaborate for about two decades and with whom we will go for new funding calls to explore different enzyme applications. So, we are currently preparing for a follow-up of what has been started in our previous projects, like MAMBA or INMARE.Thank you verymuch for this interview!

whatsay

people

Top EU Biotech

"Setting out to create what is essentially an enabling technology – great ambition!"; "Enabling technology for health, nutraceutical, etc. - markets which could be highly valued"

Evaluators:KETBIO Commercial Committee

"We need new enzymes to support emerging new industries such as the blue biorefineries. They take care of processing new marine biomass, fish by-products or algae into new valuable products. However, these are new processes that need optimization"

Stakeholders:INMARE, promotional video

"High market attractiveness"; "Very committed project partners, many publications, promising patents filed and a start-up set up"

Evaluators:KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market experts

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