AF-18003 | From sugar beet ‘waste’ to environmentally enhanced detergents

Bert van Rees2019, Kernthema Circulair, Project, TKI-projecten

Projecttitel: From sugar beet ‘waste’ to environmentally enhanced detergents
Projectnummer: AF-18003
Missie: Kringlooplandbouw
Hergebruik zij- en reststromen (A3)
Looptijd: 2019 – 2022
Budget publiek: € 530.000
Budget privaat: € 530.000
Projectleider: Daan van Es
Betrokken partijen: Cosun, Diversey, Unilever, Wageningen University & Research

Valorisation of agricultural side streams is of eminent importance to the agrifood industry: it contributes to the economic viability of the whole food production process and, especially when deriving non-food products that substitute petrochemical based products, it assists in mitigating climate change and CO2 emission reduction. One of the most important Dutch agricultural side streams is sugar beet pulp (SBP); it is being produced in over 1 million tons annually by Cosun. Current outlets are feed and biogas production. Both outlets have a low economic value; and biogas production requires subsidies to be economically viable.
WFBR intensively cooperates with Cosun in the development of a biorefinery concept for the valorisation of (all) individual components that can be derived from the sugar beet pulp. To this end WFBR has already created a significant amount of generic biorefinery and conversion technologies that can be used for sugar beet pulp specifically, but also creates knowledge that can be used for refining other side streams such as beet molasses and the conversion of components thereof. WFBR and Cosun, together with others, team up in various projects aiming at developing SBP based products such as micro cellulosic fibres for detergents, coatings and concrete, galacturonic acid based building blocks for polymers and coatings, and arabinose as food ingredient. In addition, beet pectin and galacturonic acid offer attractive opportunities for the development of home and personal care products and professional cleaning agents.
Theme of this project is to widen the potential application scope of SBP components, by generating generic knowledge and technology in order to make beet pectin based products suitable to be used in home and personal care as well as professional cleaning products. Beet molasses based products such as betaine and amino acids will be explored for the same applications. These products are often already partially biobased, so there is a clear proof that biobased products can be suitable to be used in these applications. The industrial end users in this consortium are highly motivated to widen their scope of biobased products and to increase the content of biobased products in their formulations.

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