Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies - SPIRE - INCITE


INnovative Chemoenzymatic InTEgrated processes (INCITE) is a 4-year Horizon 2020 project with 8 partners, i.e., OLEON, VITO, ENDURA, Bict, Fraunhofer IMM, Ghent University, IAR and Bio-P. The project is coordinated by OLEON (with the support of VITO).

Project description

The INCITE project aims to demonstrate novel integrated upstream and downstream processing paths involving flow chemistry and membrane technology in chemo-enzymatic processes. The modularity and flexibility of the developed processes will be showcased through two demonstration cases in real industrial settings and will be using hydrolases for the sustainable, safe and energy-efficient production of commodity and fine chiral chemicals. The first demonstration case involves esterase-catalyzed production of a chiral molecule used as starting material for the production of insecticides in the field of crop protection and public health, whereas the second demonstration case relates to the solvent-free synthesis of oleochemical esters using lipase enzymes. Compared to traditional chemical synthesis processes, these chemo-enzymatic processes have clear advantages of greater efficiency, higher product quality, higher safety and smaller environmental footprint: min 20% decrease in greenhouse gases emissions, min 40% resource and energy efficiency gains. Their development to TRL7 will open up the way to their industrialization and thus lead to major positive economic and environmental impacts (>10% CAPEX reduction, >15% OPEX reduction).


These are the objectives of INCITE: To demonstrate two chemo-enzymatic processes using hydrolases, one being the esterase-catalyzed production of D-trans chrysanthemic acid, which is an important precursor in the production of pyrethroid insecticides, and the other being the solvent-free synthesis of oleochemical esters using lipase enzymes. Once demonstrated, these processes will have a significant potential for increasing product quality while reducing both costs and environmental footprint, with a more targeted production at lower temperatures and fewer and less hazardous effluents than in currently utilized conventional chemical synthesis processes.
In order to bring the selected demonstration cases from existing TRL 4-5 to TRL 7 the following specific objectives have been defined:

  • Objective 1: Increase productivity, yield and product purity;
  • Objective 2: Reduce downstream processing efforts;
  • Objective 3: Reduce energy requirements;
  • Objective 4: Increase process safety;
  • Objective 5: Test the flexibility, the simplicity and modularity of the proposed solutions

Role of Ghent University

In INCITE Ghent University oversee the sustainability assessment (WP6 – WP leader) and the training activities in WP5 and WP8. The former (WP6) will be developed by the research group of Professor Jo Dewulf (STEN), while the latter (WP5 and WP8) will be developed by the GREEN-CHEM network, led by Professor Chris Stevens and dr. Nathan De Geyter.




Prof. Jo Dewulf
Department of Green Chemistry and Technology
Phone number: +32 09 264 59 49

Prof. Chris Stevens
Department of Green Chemistry and Technology
Phone number: +32 9 264 59 57

Dr. Nathan De Geyter
Dean’s Office, Strategic Relations
Phone number: +32 9 264 60 16

Dr. Rodrigo Alvarenga
Department of Green Chemistry and Technology
Phone number: +32 09 264 58 71