Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies - NMP - CARBAFIN

H2020 LEIT NMP

Title: Carbohydrate-based fine chemicals: Development of a glycosylation platform cell factory and optimization of downstream processing for the sustainable production of glycosides
Partners: 8 partners (1 research center, 2 universities, 4 industrial partners & 1 consultancy agency)
Coordinator: Prof. Bernd Nidetzky, ACIB GmbH Petersgasse 14, 8010 GRAZ, Austria
Duration: From 2018-01-01 until 2021-12-31 (48 months)

CARBAFINCARBAFIN (Carbohydrate-based fine chemicals) is a H2020 project that falls under the H2020-EU.2.1.4. call of ‘Industrial Leadership - Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – Biotechnology’. The goal of the CARBAFIN project is the “Development of a glycosylation platform cell factory and optimization of downstream processing for the sustainable production of glycosides”. In order to achieve its goals, renowned researchers for the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (ACIB), Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) and Ghent University have teamed up with leading 5 industrial partners, bringing together science en industry from 5 European countries (AT, BE, DE, CH, NL). By combining the strengths and experiences of the different partners, the CARBAFIN project will develop a radically new value chain for the utilisation of surplus sucrose from sugar beet biomass in the EU, based on an integrated biocatalytic production technology.
CARBAFIN will demonstrate bio-based co-production of functional glucosides and fructose. The glucoside products of CARBAFIN (glucosylglycerol, cellodextrin) have large-scale uses in nutrition and feed, cosmetics and detergents. Fructose is exploited in the production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a versatile chemical building block currently considered for making bio-based plastics. Leading platform technologies in biocatalytic cell factories and downstream processing, conjointly optimised in CARBAFIN for performance efficiency and cost-effectiveness under full integration of LCA and economic evaluation, are key to make industrial co-production of glycosides and HMF via fructose competitive in today's markets. In addition, CARBAFIN contributes to the establishment of new, fully renewables-based value chains across the European industries, linking the sugar industry sector to the cosmetics, chemicals, polymer and detergents sectors and strengthening the sugar industries' role in food and feed. It supports the efficient cascading use of sugar beet-derived sucrose in combination with biomass-derived base chemicals (e.g. glycerol, glucose). CARBAFIN's HMF production aims at replacing petroleum-based chemicals with bio-based building blocks. CARBAFIN will thus contribute to development of a chemical industry that is low-carbon, resource-efficient and sustainable. CARBAFIN will help Europe to maintain global leadership in industrial biotechnology and secure position as innovation leader in sugar-based products. CARBAFIN's innovations will involve broadly the engagement of societal actors with particular emphasis on consumer awareness and acceptance.
Keywords: glycosylation, carbohydrates, biocatalysis, enzymes, green chemistry

Objectives

These are the objectives of CARBAFIN:
•    Create a new value chain for the utilisation of surplus sucrose from sugar beet biomass in the EU
•    Develop cost-efficient and ecologic production routes of functional glucosides with broad application potential
•    Ensure full utilization of the substrate sucrose by converting released fructose for the production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a versatile chemical building block currently considered for making bio-based plastics.

 

Role of Ghent University

The Ghent University lab involved in this project is the Unit for Biocatalysis and Enzyme Engineering, which is responsible for the optimisation of the biocatalysts (phosphorylase enzymes) that are needed for production of the target compounds.

 

Contact

Prof. Dr. Tom Desmet
Department: Biotechnology (vakgroep Biotechnologie, BW25)
Phone number: +32 9 264 99 20
E-mail: