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DAB secures subsidy to reduce industry CO2 emissions


Delft Advanced Biorenewables (DAB), developer of novel separation hardware for the fermentation industry, has recently been awarded a substantial subsidy in support of its mission to reduce CO2 emissions by enabling cost-effective production of bio-based alternatives, together with partner organisation Wageningen Food and Biobased Research (WFBR).

Under the current Climate Act, the Dutch government intends to reduce the Netherlands’ greenhouse gas emissions by 49% by 2030 when compared to 1990 levels, and 95% by 2050. In support of these climate targets, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate commissioned the Demonstration Energy and Climate Innovation (DEI +) 2020 subsidy. This subsidy, facilitated by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), aims to support pilot and demonstration projects that fall under various themes that contribute to this broader emissions goal.

One of these themes is the CO2 reduction in industry, which incorporates the replacement of chemicals and fuels that are traditionally petrochemically derived with sustainable, cost-effective alternatives. With the decreasing cost of synthetic biology tools, an alternative production route that is gaining substantial attention in recent years is fermentation. Unfortunately, a vast majority of fermentation processes are often still too expensive when scaled up compared to the fossil alternative, leading to limited commercialization of these new techniques.

The current way of fermentative production involves (fed)batch production and in most cases energy-intensive separation steps leading to higher costs of production. DABs technology, named FAST, is a key process separation technology that allows continuous production and recovery of a target molecule from the fermentation broth in a single hardware device. Developed alongside the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), it simplifies production processes, improves productivity, and lowers the operational costs by up to 50%. The FAST is a platform technology for the cost-effective production of biobased chemicals and fuels and can be deployed as a standalone unit or retrofitted into existing equipment. WFBR applies its experience in the field of biotechnology for anaerobic fermentation of renewable resources to chemicals and fuels to further expand the product portfolio of the FASTEST process.

The subsidy will allow the FAST to be deployed to the next stage of commercialization in 2020. It will enable the construction of a larger unit to demonstrate the technology up to 10m3 scale by the end of 2020. To support the effective scale-up to these sizes, this will be completed in partnership with a Contract Manufacturing Organization (CMO) in Europe to leverage the existing expertise in bioprocess scale-up. This new unit at a CMO site will allow current and future clients to scale up their technology alongside the FAST to a more commercially relevant scale.

Kirsten Steinbusch, CEO of DAB, commented: “The DEI project allows us to show the potential of a new way of biomanufacturing for cost-effective production for 2 to 3 green chemicals at pilot scale. Another part of the project is covering the engineering and installation of a novel larger FAST unit. With this scaling step, we de-risk the technology further so that clients can test it for small productions.”

DAB works with its producing clients and collaborators to demonstrate the potential cost savings for their processes through a feasibility study program. This program goes from lab through to pilot stage with clients processes, and is included within the subsidy. Therefore many of our clients processes fall within this subsidy, reducing the costs to demonstrate the potential of the FAST at pilot scale. If interested to hear more about the subsidy or our technology, contact one of the team members below.

Source: DAB (press release)