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Pitches for the 2018 BBI Call Topics
Biomass based industries joint undertaking

On April 11th 2018 the Biomass Based Industries Joint Undertaking released their annual work programme and budget for 2018. There is an indicative budget of 115 million Euros which will fund a total of 21 topics, comprising 11 Research and Innovation Actions (RIAs), 3 Coordinating and Supporting Actions (CSAs), 5 Demonstration-Scale projects, and 2 Flagships.

We consider that Celignis's expertise in detailed and accurate biomass analysis, as well as our ability to advance the state of the art in rapid biomass analysis through our NIR models, makes us valuable partners in consortia for many of these call topics.

We see huge potential within the topics of the 2018 BBI calls for the development and refinement of our models, as well as the potential for the development of targeted models for individual feedstocks or process conditions.

Our analytical expertise also covers the following: extractives (we are leading a WP on this in the UNRAVEL BBI project); proteins; oligomers (IC-MS system); inhibitors; anaerobic digestion; thermal properties; seaweed; lipids; and lignin.

Below we present pitches for specific roles in some of the 2018 topics.

SO1.R1: Analytical techniques for chitin, chitosan and production of chitosan oligomers

This pitch addresses the call 'SO1.R1 - Resolve logistical, infrastructural and technological challenges to valorise residual and side streams from aquaculture, fisheries and the aquatic biomass processing industries'.

At Celignis we have an array of equipment and expertise to investigate the composition of chitin and chitosan in aquaculture wastes. We can also work on the production of chitosan oligomers, via chemical or enzymatic process. These oligomers can have high value medicinal or cosmetic applications.

Additionally, our expertise with near infrared spectroscopy (we are the only company offer NIR analysis for lignocellulosic biomass as a commercial service) can be applied to these feedstocks and products and lead to the development of process analytical tools.

We can also apply our analytical expertise with proteins in order to evaluate the functional properties and bioavailability of proteins in aquaculture wastes, with a similar potential for NIR model development.

SO3.F2: Analysis of nutritional and anti-nutritional compounds in food and feed products

This pitch addresses the call 'SO3.F2 - Large-scale production of proteins for food and feed applications from alternative, sustainable sources'.

Celignis has expertise in the amino acid analysis of protein hydrolysates. The amino acid composition of the protein and protein hydrolysate determines the quality and application of the protein.

Protein hydrolysates and extracts from alternative sources tend to have anti-nutritional molecules that need to be removed. NIR methods are established for analysis of food and feed for nutrients but are not used for quantifying the anti-nutritional constituents of the protein.

The team at Celignis is skilled in the chemical analysis of biomass and using those data in NIR model development. This approach will not only reduce or avoid the regular sample preparation and long hours of chemical analysis, it can also analyse multiple compounds (nutritional and anti-nutritional) at the same time. In commercial-scale (flagship) operations, this NIR technique will help in making real-time informed decisions on process efficiencies and process optimisations.

SO2.R3: Chemical analysis of pulp mill feedstock and side streams to help in improving resource efficiencies

This pitch address the call 'SO2.R3 - Introduce new technologies to make pulping operations more resource-efficient'.

Efficient fractionation of biomass with less chemicals and energy input and reduced waste generation and waste recycling are the key targets of many pulping plants. In addition to new technologies for improving resource efficiency, new feedstock should be screened for pulping operations. The side streams generated from the pulp mill should be valorised to biobased products.

Celignis can help you in analysing the feedstock, product streams and side streams for their chemical composition. We also have capacity to develop rapid analysis for multiple compounds using our near infra-red (NIR) method.

In-line analysis development for feedstock, side streams and products will help to monitor the resource and process efficiencies of pulping operations. This will help in taking informed decisions on process improvements.

SO2.R4: Full spectrum analysis of biomass and process streams for inhibitors

This pitch addresses the call 'SO2.R4 - Apply advanced biotechnologies to convert biomass that contains inhibitors into high value-added chemicals and materials'.

Analysis of feedstock and inhibitors produced during the pre-treatment and hydrolysis steps is important to design efficient screening and selection protocols for inhibitor-resistant microbes. Full spectrum analysis of compounds present in the selected inhibitory medium/feedstock will help in understanding the factors contributing to resistance in selected/screened inhibitor-resistant microbes.

Screening of microbes for substrate utilisation, inhibitor tolerance and/or product development generates large sets of samples that need to be analysed for more than one molecule.

Celignis has expertise in analysing a wide range of feedstocks such as agriculture-based, forest-based, aquatic/marine-based, industrial wastes, etc, for their complete chemical composition. Our combination of skills in chemical analysis and near infra-red (NIR) analysis allows us to develop rapid, high-throughput analysis methods for inhibitors in biomass and process streams.

SO4.S2: Mapping biomass composition and how it links to the selection of appropriate valorisation processess

This pitch addresses the call 'SO4.S2 - Expand the bio-based industry across Europe'.

There have been a number of research projects and coordinating and supporting actions (CSAs) that have looked at mapping the availability of biomass, however they often neglect the importance of feedstock composition and how its variability according to location and management practices can impact upon achievable yields in bioprocessing.

Celignis has extensive analytical expertise in analysing thousands of biomass samples from around the world. As a result, we have a deep understanding of the composition of an array of different feedstocks and the impacts that these compositional differences have on what is the most appropriate technology for valorisation.

In this project we plan to use compositional data as a basis for the linking of feedstocks with bio-based industries for the 5 selected countries.

Advanced analytical techniques for the analysis of biomass and process intermediates and outputs

This pitch addresses a number of calls in the BBI 2018 Work Programme.

We are an SME that is focused on the analysis of biomass and the products of biomass pretreatment/conversion. We analyse thousands of samples each year. We have developed proprietary near infrared models that allow us to predict the important lignocellulosic constituents of a wide variety of biomass samples with a high degree of accuracy. This has reduced the analysis time from weeks to minutes. A video describing this method is provided here.

We see huge potential within the topics of the BBI calls for the development and refinement of these models, as well as the potential for the development of targeted models for individual feedstocks or process conditions.

Our analytical expertise also covers the following: extractives (we are leading a WP on this in the UNRAVEL BBI project); proteins; oligomers (IC-MS system); inhibitors; anaerobic digestion; thermal properties; seaweed; lipids; and lignin.