Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant VZW


Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is a test facility for development and scale-up of new biobased processes, up to the industrial level (from 5L to 50.000L depending on the process). The facility intends to close the gap in the innovation chain of the biobased economy, bridging science and industrial production. Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant has a track record in the development and scale-up of biosurfactant production processes. It took up that role in the FP7 projects Biosurfing and IB2Market, in the BBI project Carbosurf and also in the Horizon2020 project Marisurf.

Fermentation process development needs to be performed for each new molecule as each specific strain/ feedstock/ product combination can have tremendous effects on technical feasibility and on product yield and purity which are two aspects that are important cost factors in the production process. In this project, the most promising lab processes will be developed up to the 150L scale. This is necessary to produce sufficient product for application testing, and to have an idea about techno-economic viability of the process at industrial scale.

The fermentation process is followed by downstream processing development and scale up and for obtaining sufficiently pure surfactants for application testing, as contaminants might interfere with specific applications. Again, this is different for each strain/feedstock/product combination, as each fermentation ‘soup’ and product has vastly different properties. Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant has access to and expertise with a range of downstream processing techniques such as centrifugation, filtration, membrane separation, flocculation, crystallization, solvent extraction.



Profile of staff engaged in the Project:

Bernd Everaert

Bernd Everaert

R&D engineer: development and scale up of biosurfactant production processes.

Ir. Bernd Everaert is R&D process engineer at BBEPP. He holds a degree in bioengineering sciences (Ghent University, 2014) and joined BBEPP after performing a Master thesis there, focusing on process development for new-to-nature biosurfactants and scale up thereof. He is involved in the process development for several projects dealing with fermentative biosurfactant production and subsequent purification and scale up thereof.

Sophie RoelantsDr. Sophie Roelants

PhD, R&D engineer: coordination of scientific research on biosurfactants.

Sophie Roelants, PhD is R&D engineer at BBEPP. She holds a PhD in Biotechnology (Ghent University, 2013), which dealt with the engineering of tailor-made biosurfactant production. After her PhD she continued this research (at the University of Ghent and BBEPP) emphasizing on bringing these new biosurfactant molecules to the market. She is now involved in the coordination of several projects dealing with microbial biosurfactant production.

Brecht VanlerbergheBrecht Vanlerberghe

R&D manager: coordination of scientific research.

Ir. Brecht Vanlerberghe is R&D Manager at BBEPP. He holds a master degree in bioengineering sciences and industrial management (Ghent University, 1996 resp. 2005). Before joining BBEPP he has been responsible for Innovation and product & process development for both SME’s and large international agro industry companies in dairy Industries (AVEVE Dairy Products, Campina, Friesland Campina) & cereal processing industry (Tereos Syral). He is coaching all the research projects at BBEPP.

Lieve HoflackDr. Lieve Hoflack

PhD, project manager: involved in the writing/setting up of the project.

Lieve Hoflack, PhD. is project manager at BBEPP. She holds a PhD in biotechnology (Ghent University, 1998) and has been working as a researcher in academia (University of TX Health Science Center, Ghent University), as well as in biotech SMEs (Plant Genetic Systems, Dyax, Vivactis). Later, she moved to project management of publically funded projects, coordinating the application process as well as project implementation in the SMEs MintEurope and BBEPP.