The iFermenter project, for greener Europe.
Plant dry matter, so-called lignocellulosic biomass, is the largest renewable biomass feedstock on Earth. Europe has over 14 mill tons of sugar residuals from biorefineries, which could be converted to profitable products and contribute to a sustainable bioeconomy. Unfortunately, these sugars are either incinerated to generate energy or at best
converted to ethanol (€0.6 /kg) but not to higher value chemicals. Current concepts that aim to establish fermentation processes to convert residual sugar streams to high value products face challenges including inefficient sugar utilization by microorganisms and inhibitors in the residual streams, leading to low productivity and yields.
Our project aims to recover high value compounds from sugar residuals, and to turn fermentation processes converting
these residual to antimicrobials cost effective.
We will recover the high value sugar galactose (€40-200 /kg) from residual
streams as part of their treatment process. We will design cell factories that consume the
remaining residuals and produce nisin (€50-150 /kg), an industrially important commercial food/feed preservative.
iFermenter will render production of high value products with residual sugar stream highly efficient and cost-effective
contributing to circular economy.