• Celignis Pitch for CBE 2024 Topic


This is a topic in the 2024 work programme of the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE-JU) which was published on December 19th 2023, with the call for proposals opening on April 24th 2024. The deadline for submitting proposals to this call is September 18th 2023, with the results expected by February 2025 and the projects expected to start later in 2025.

Celignis is an SME that was spun-out from an EU research project (the FP7 advanced biofuels project DIBANET) that was written and coordinated by Celignis's founder Daniel Hayes. It has now been over ten years since the end of that project and over that time Celignis has grown in size and reputation and now occupies a valuable niche as being the premier analytical and bioprocess development provider to clients in the biomass sector. We provide a wide range of compositional analysis services and bioprocessing expertise to a diverse array of customers (including SMEs, multinationals, and universities) looking to utilise biomass feedstocks, residues and wastes for the production of biobased products, biofuels, and energy.

But we have not lost sight of the importance of science and in advancing the start of the art. We were born from pioneering research and we are still passionately committed to playing our part in advancing the bioeconomy. As a result we continue to be highly active in European research projects and are particularly excited by the calls presented in the 2024 CBE-JU work programme.

In April 2023 Celignis joined the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) as a Full Industry SME Member, meaning that we can contribute to the strategic direction and future calls of the CBE-JU and that Celignis is an eligible partner for all CBE-JU actions. The CBE requires that any Large Industry or SME partner in Innovation Action (end TRL 6/7) or Flagship (end TRL 8) projects is a BIC member.

"Celignis had successful proposals in over 40% of the CBE-JU Innovation Action topics in 2023. Our Full-Industry BIC membership and extensive scaled-up bioprocessing capabilities make us particularly suited to participation in IA proposals"

Celignis is a partner in 1 ongoing CBE project, with a further 3 (successful awardees of CBE-JU funding in the 2023 call) starting between May and Sept 2024. The ongoing project, PERFECOAT is a RIA (Research and Innovation Action) project, whilst the 3 upcoming projects (BIONEER, PROMOFER, and MANUREFINERY) are Innovation Action (TRL 6/7) projects. The extensive developments in processing capacity (up to 1m3) by Celignis Bioprocess over the last few years make us particularly suited to participation in such higher-TRL topics.

Celignis's Ongoing CBE Projects

Celignis's Completed BBI/CBE Projects
Celignis's Other Ongoing Horizon Europe Projects

Contributions Celignis Can Make to HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-RIA-05

  • Extraction and purification of RuBisCo and production of its hydrolysates - RuBisCo makes up to 50% (average) of the protein in plant leaves and its nutritional and functional properties are considered to be superior to most other plant proteins. Indeed, purified RuBisCo is considered to be nutritionally complete, with all the essential amino acids. In addition to this, RuBisCo has other important functional properties such as foaming, gelling, and emulsifying properties. RuBisCo purification, without any other proteins in the final purified product (to avoid allergenic proteins and to also remove tannins, phenolics and other complexes formed in the protein precipitation stage) is a challenging task. Though there are several methods reported and projects completed, none of them have achieved the required RuBisCo purities with industrially-feasible processes.

    With Celignis’s experience in fractionation of plant biomass (proteins and polysaccharides), and the subsequent purification steps, Celignis is interested to take on the challenge of RuBisCo purification. We have previously worked on RuBisCo extraction from a crop residue and have developed simple extraction and quantification strategies. For that project, Celignis used a membrane concentration method, instead of a fractionation method. Based on our experience on the isolation, concentration, and quantification of RuBisCo-rich protein, the Celignis team has devised a RuBisCo-purification strategy that involves membranes and low-cost ion-exchange chromatography. We would like to further explore this concept in this CBE-JU project. The extracted and purified RuBisCo would then be tested for digestibility and other functional properties. We expect to also hydrolyse RuBisCo to produce bioactive peptides that ar elikely to provide many nutritional and health benefits.
  • Xylan hydrogels with pre-biotic polymer for efficient storage and delivery of pre- and post-biotics - Alginate that is extensively used for the delivery of oral prebiotics suffers from the acidic pH in the stomach, hence several new pre- and pro-biotic delivery systems are being studied. Double-casing of probiotics with more than one polysaccharide, preferably at least one polysaccharide of a pre-biotic nature, will provide both resistance to the gastric fluids and bile juices together with high long-term viability of the prebiotic bacteria. There are already studies conducted in this area by researchers across the world, which have shown some exceptional results.

    Celignis has a culture collection, with unique strains with high probiotic potential, that produces polysaccharides which need testing for their prebiotic potential. Celignis’s EnXylaScope process produce xylans of very high quality which can be converted to hydrogels using enzymes for encapsulation of bioactives, prebiotic polymers, and probiotics. Within this CBE-JU RIA topic Celignis is interested in testing the xylan hydrogels using Celignis’s in house probiotic strains and prebiotic polymers. We are also equally interested in testing our xylans for encapsulation and delivery of probiotic, prebiotic, and bioactive ingredients from other researchers and companies within the consortium.
  • Techno-economics, process modelling & optimisations - Celignis's process engineering and modelling team has years of experience in the analysis of biological and chemical processes for technical and economic feasibility (TEA). The Celignis team can identify the possible high costing nodes of the process through modelling in the early stages of the project and provide suggestions of improving the feasibility of the process. The techno-economic analysis will be done iteratively during the course of the project by performing all the necessary sensitivity analyses on key operational inputs and parameters, including the side streams valorisation or treatment.

    Celignis’s Chief chemical engineer and Bioprocess head Oscar Bedzo has a PhD in chemical engineering with a focus on biomass fractionations and enzyme transformations. He has experience in working with large industry clients through public and private projects and leads the projects very smoothly. Currently, he is doing TEA work for a number of Celignis's private projects and also for the ongoing Horizon-Europe project EnXylaScope which is developing and demonstrating the production of 6 consumer products (personal care, feed/food) from three different feedstocks.

    Celignis is also the partner for full TEA analysis for a successful CBE-JU 2023 proposal. That project (MANUREFINERY), which comprises 23 partners and 11 different technologies being proven at demonstration scale, will start in September 2024.

    Celignis’s team of biomass valorisation and bioprocess experts support the TEA analysis and perform process optimisations based on their years of experience in biomass processing technology development. We are a world-renowned bioprocess development service provider and consultant for the bioeconomy. Having Celignis as a TEA and process optimisation partner in a consortium will bring this extensive expertise to the project.

  • Native and enzymatically-modified xylans for food and feed ingredients - Xylan is the second most abundant polysaccharide on earth, yet it is currently underutilised. Research on xylan’s use for food applications is mostly restricted to their oligomeric forms (e.g. XOs and AXOs). However, Celignis's recent research, as part of the EnXylaScope RIA project, has shown great potential for polymeric xylan in food and feed applications. Celignis has developed several enzymatically-modified xylans to test their synergy with soy- and rapeseed-derived food and feed formulations. Interestingly, native xylans exhibited a synergy and increased digestibility with some of the soy-derived food and feed formulations, while the enzymatically-modified xylans reduced the digestibility and changed the short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) profile, mainly with high acetic acid to lactic acid ratio. Enzymatically-modified xylans were also tested for their water-holding capacity (gelling ability) and emulsification-ability, with positive results, suggesting potential applications as food ingredients, especially as texture enhancers. Celignis is keen to expand the development of novel xylan-derived ingredients for the food and feed sectors and recognise this CBE-JU RIA topic as an excellent opportunity to do that.
  • Rapid analysis and process optimisations - As part of our Bioprocess Development Services that we provide to a range of clients, we are able to effectively optimise conditions for a wide range of processes, including biomass fractionations, and enzymatic and chemical conversions of polysaccharides. This is done by improving upstream and downstream process conditions following design of experiments and statistical data analysis. We can effectively apply these approaches to the objectives of this project.

    In addition to this, Celignis’s near infra-red models development expertise for custom feedstocks or products (>20,000 samples used for generating Celignis's global models) will help in use of this analysis for process control especially when feedstock variability can be substantial (waste streams). Our NIR expertise was effectively demonstrated in the recently-completed CBE-JU Innovation Action project VAMOS. It concerned the demonstration (TRL7) of a technology for producing lactic acid from biomass. Celignis's role in the project was as an at-scale rapid analysis developer. Work involved the development of custom rapid NIR models developed for the streams in the VAMOS project. This including us installing an NIR-device at the demo biorefinery and customising the user-side software experience (proprietary Celignis software "CelDeep") so that routine plant operators can get quick actionable data regarding the composition of feedstocks and process outputs. This allowed for much more responsive decision making and process optimisation.

    CelDeep results

  • Proposal Evaluation - In 2020 Celignis was the primary writing partner in EnXylaScope, a project specifically focused on the extraction of xylan and on its subsequent modification to be suitable as a component in a range of consumer products. This proposal was successful, and the project started in May 2021. In 2023 Celignis actively took part in writing a CBE-JU Innovation Action project (BIONEER), together with the co-ordinator, and was successful in securing funding.We were also in two other successful CBE-JU proposals in the 2023 call. Additionally, Celignis's Lalitha and Dan have worked for several years as EU Expert Evaluators reviewing CBE-JU proposals and so understand the differences between good proposals and the great ones that end up getting funded.

    As a result of these experiences, plus our Full-Industry membership of the Biobased Industry Consortium (BIC), and due to our experience in offering research and technology development services related to industrial biotech processes, we have a good understanding of the current art in this topic and how an impactful proposal with strong Excellence and Impact can be developed. As a result, we will be happy, as part of our partner constributions towards a proposal, to put forward suggestions as to how a competitive proposal can be drafted.

Related Celignis Projects

Expected Outcomes of CBE-2024-RIA-05

In line with the objectives of the Circular Economy and Zero Pollution Action Plan, as well as the Farm to Fork Strategy, the new regulations on the assessment and authorisation of feed additives, food additives, food enzymes and food flavourings as well as the regulation for the re-evaluation of programme of approved food additives, the successful proposals will contribute to the development of sustainable and healthy bio-based food and feed ingredients other than proteins.

Successful proposals will also contribute to the implementation of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and the updated EU Industrial Strategy and to Europe’s food security and Farm2Fork strategy ambition.

Project results should contribute to the following expected outcomes:
  • Increased availability of affordable bio-based functional ingredients for food and feed with high nutritional and health properties.
  • Increased safety and sustainability of food and feed value chains.
  • Reduction of use of food and feed ingredients from unsustainable sources.
  • New and better organoleptic and nutritional properties for healthy food and feed ingredients, increasing consumer acceptance.

Scope of

Human and animal nutrition are two key areas where the bio-based industries can play an important role in addressing the present societal and climate challenges. Considerable attention is given to the mobilisation of alternative sources of proteins, fibres and carbohydrates, due to the increasing world population and the current unsustainable animal protein production systems.

In addition to proteins, fibres and carbohydrates where significant advancements are under way, there is still the need to develop and validate at pilot scale breakthrough innovations in other food and feed ingredients which play an important role in human and animal health such as prebiotics, postbiotics, vitamins, peptides, oligosaccharides, fats, emulsifiers, enhancers of digestibility.

In addition to those having a direct role in nutrition, other ingredients have an indirect, but nonetheless key, role in promoting healthier food and feed systems by enhancing organoleptic properties, texture, colour, palatability, digestibility etc. Unlocking this opportunity alongside with the current push to healthier and sustainable food chains makes the market of sustainable food and feed ingredients extremely promising for high tech bio-based applications.

Proposals Under CBE-2024-RIA-05 Should:

  • Develop innovative food and/or feed ingredients from sustainably sourced bio-based feedstock. The innovation in scope can be related to i) breakthrough processes to obtain known food/feed ingredients, and/or ii) novel food/feed ingredients. Ingredients in scope include bioactive compounds, antioxidants, prebiotics, postbiotics, vitamins, peptides, oligosaccharides; fats; emulsifiers; taste, texture, palatability and digestibility enhancers; colourants, functional/’precision proteins’ (i.e. proteins obtained, for example but not only, from precision fermentation process) among others. Besides the technical properties of the targeted ingredients (organoleptic, nutritional, prevention of intolerances/allergies), proposals should also consider their affordability. The production of bulk proteins, fibres and carbohydrates used as main nutritional component is not in scope per se; however the development of complex food and feed formulations involving the application of innovative functional ingredients working in synergy with them is in scope.
  • Any production technique is in scope; proposals are required to pay particular attention to environmental, social and economic sustainability of the chosen pathway (including ingredients’ sources and availability/supply and the use of natural resources such as land, water, energy). In addition to production processes, proposals should consider downstream separation and purification processes to meet the targeted quality for final application aligned with food and safety legal requirements. Circular solutions, e.g. exploiting residual streams, are also in scope and could provide additional socio-environmental benefits. In this case proposals need to take particular care and adopt monitoring solutions to ensure that neither pathogens nor contaminants from the starting residual stream is injected back in the loop.
  • Test the properties of the functional ingredients developed, alone and/or in combination and, if applicable, their effect on product formulations according to established testing procedures. Moreover, proposals should test the safety of developed ingredients through in vitro toxicological tests.
  • Address the regulatory aspects relevant to the targeted end market(s), ensuring compatibility in the perspective of potential future scale-up.
  • Involve end users starting from the early stages of development to assess market acceptance of the new ingredients. When addressing consumer products, involve consumers to gain insight of their perception and future chances of market uptake.
Proposals must implement the multi-actor approach and ensure adequate involvement of all key actors in the value chains relevant for this topic, in particular involving farmers, feedstock providers, bio-based industry, end users (e.g. consumers and brand owners) and regulatory actors.

Proposals should also describe their contribution to the Specific CBE JU requirements, presented in section

Proposals should seek for links and complementarities and avoid overlaps with past, ongoing and upcoming EU funded projects, including those funded under H2020, HEU and the BBI JU and CBE JU. Collaboration among projects from the same topic is encouraged.

Additional Information on CBE-2024-RIA-05:

Type of Action Research and Innovation Action.
Indicative Budget The total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 7 million.
Expected EU Contribution per Project It is estimated that a contribution of EUR 3.5 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
TRL TRL 4-5 at the end of the project.
Link to CBE JU Specific Objectives 1.1: Increase the intensity of cross-disciplinary research and innovation activities.
1.2: Increase and integrate the research and innovation capacity of stakeholders across the Union.
1.3: Increase and integrate the research and innovation capacity for addressing environmental challenges and development of more sustainable bio-based innovations.
Link to CBE JU SRIA 1.1.2: Develop innovative production systems in the bio-based industry.
1.3.2: Improve environmental performances of bio-based processes.
1.1.3: Develop innovative bio-based products.
CBE JU KPIs 2: Number of innovative bio-based value chains created or enabled based on sustainably sourced biomass.
4.1: Number of projects with innovative & sustainable processes that contribute to GHG emissions reduction.
4.2: Number of projects developing innovative & sustainable processes that improve on resource efficiency and zero-waste.
4.3: Number of projects developing innovative & sustainable processes enabling to address zero pollution.
4.5: Number of products with improved life cycle environmental performance.
6.1: Number of innovative bio-based dedicated outputs, with novel or significantly improved properties vs relevant alternatives.

Other Topics in the CBE 2024 Work Programme

Click here to see a list of the other CBE topics and how Celignis could be a valuable project partner for them.

Pitches for Specific Topics in the 2024 CBE Call

Below we list a number of the topics in the CBE 2024 work programme in which we think we can play a valuable role. These topics cover: Research and Innovation Actions (RIA), Innovation Actions (IA), Flagships (IAFlag), and Coordinating and Supporting Actions (CAS).

Please click on the link for each topic to see more details on it and on the contributions that Celignis can make.

Innovation Actions (IAs)

Below are listed our pitches for IA topics in the CBE-JU 2024 Work Programme. For other topics click to jump to our lists for Research and Innovation Actions (RIA), Flagships (IAFlag), and Coordinating and Supporting Actions (CAS).

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-IA-01 – Bio-based materials and products for biodegradable in-soil applications

This topic concerns implementing bio-based, biodegradable products aimed at reducing soil pollution and microplastic issues, aligning with EU environmental strategies. The focus is on enhancing soil-used products, like mulch films, through innovative methods that ensure their safety and biodegradability. Proposals must demonstrate the effectiveness of these products, propose standards for biodegradability, and ensure alignment with EU's sustainable design principles.

Celignis can make important contributions in a number of areas to this topic, including:
  1. Producing bio-degradable mulch films from organic waste and residues, leveraging our expertise in bio-polymer extraction and modification to create both liquid and solid mulch films suitable for large-scale applications;
  2. Conducting tests to determine the effects of bio-degradable mulch films on seed germination and plant growth, assessing improvements in soil properties;
  3. Leveraging our process engineering and economic analysis skills to identify cost-effective production methods, so enhancing the economic viability of bio-based mulch film manufacturing;
  4. Performing comprehensive biodegradability and eco-toxicity evaluations of the products in order to ensure environmental safety and compliance with biodegradation standards;
As a Full Industry Member of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), Celignis is eligible to participate as a partner in CBE Innovation Action projects such as this one.

Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-IA-01

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-IA-02 – Sustainable micro-algae as feedstock for innovative, added-value applications

Here the focus is on the demonstration of sustainable industrial systems using micro-algae and cyanobacteria. Such processes are expected to produce a wide array of microalgae-based products that are economically viable and socially accepted. Proposals should focus on optimizing production, harvesting, and extraction techniques that are cost-effective and sustainable, and align with the safe-and-sustainable-by-design (SSbD) framework.

The contributions that Celignis can make towards this topic are outlined in detail here and summarised below:
  1. Enhance the economic viability of algal biorefineries by developing a sequential extraction process for multiple products from residual biomass, leveraging our expertise from the ALGALVANISE project;
  2. Use enzyme cocktails for efficient and less energy-intensive extraction of compounds from algal biomass, leveraging our microbial culture collection for enzyme production;
  3. Provide detailed compositional data for microalgal feedstocks and products, enhancing process efficiencies and product quality;
  4. Reduce costs and enhance efficiencies in algal biorefinery operations, though technoeconomic analysis (TEA) backed-up by our extensive experience in bioprocess development.
  5. Employ rapid analysis NIR technologies to enhance process control and efficiency in algal biorefineries;
As a Full Industry Member of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), Celignis is eligible to participate as a partner in CBE Innovation Action projects such as this one.

Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-IA-02

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-IA-03 – Enlarging the portfolio of commercially produced bio-based SSbD solvents

This topic concerns the demonstration of bio-based solvents that align with the EU's Bioeconomy Strategy, aiming for zero pollution and enhanced sustainability within the chemical industry. The target is the production of safer, more environmentally-friendly solvents that meet market needs and increase the EU's strategic autonomy by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and imported biomass. Proposals should innovate with regards to the production, application, and recycling of bio-based solvents, with an emphasis on safety, sustainability, and societal acceptance.

Click here to read in detail regarding the contributions that Celignis can make towards this topic, which are summarised below:
  1. Demonstrate a cost-effective method for producing bio-based solvents through integrated fermentation and enzyme catalysis, targeting the production of polar and moderately-polar solvents for diverse industrial applications;
  2. Utilise second-generation sugars more cost-effectively for bio-based solvent production by applying a Xylan-first approach in our biomass fractionation process, allowing for a lowering in production costs;
  3. Based on our expertise in anaerobic fermentation, we can optimize the production of bio-based solvents by focusing on process enhancements to direct carbon flux towards desired solvent production, without genetic modifications;
  4. Enhance the economic feasibility and efficiency of bio-based solvent production processes through techno-economic analysis and process optimisation;
As a Full Industry Member of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), Celignis is eligible to participate as a partner in CBE Innovation Action projects such as this one.

Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-IA-03

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-IA-04 – Circular and SSbD bio-based construction & building materials with functional properties

The CBE-2024-IA-04 call seeks proposals that will lead to the widespread adoption of circular bio-based solutions in construction and potentially in other sectors like transport and furniture. These solutions should not only meet current market and regulatory standards but also improve environmental and health safety profiles, contribute to better air quality, and enhance consumer and end-user acceptance of bio-based materials. Projects should demonstrate these materials' functionality and sustainability through field trials and by ensuring they align with safe-and-sustainable-by-design principles.

Some of the ways in which Celignis can contribute to this topic are detailed here and summarised below:
  1. Evaluate biochar and biopolymers for use in construction materials, leveraging our analytical expertise to test suitability and standardise product consistency for construction applications;
  2. Developing engineered polysaccharides as polymer additives for cement, building on our polysaccharide modification work in the PERFECOAT and EnXylaScope projects;
  3. Developing alginate and cellulose-based foams for biodegaradable insulation materials, with potential for customisation in physical properties through enzymatic and chemical modifications;
  4. Providing techno-economic analysis and process optimization support, facilitating the development of cost-effective and efficient bio-based construction material production processes.
As a Full Industry Member of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), Celignis is eligible to participate as a partner in CBE Innovation Action projects such as this one.

Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-IA-04

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-IA-05 – Selective and sustainable (co)-production of lignin-derived aromatics

The topic concerns the up-scaled production of lignin-derived aromatics with a focus on enhancing the atom economy and improving the resilience of the European chemical industry. It is of key importance that the products are safe, sustainable, demonstrate market competitiveness, and achieve societal acceptance.

Celignis is a partner in BIONEER, a CBE-JU Innovation Action project that was successful in the 2023 call for TRL 6/7 production of (non-aromatic) platform chemicals. We see CBE-2024-IA-05 as highly compatible with that project as we can also demonstrate platform chemicals production from the lignin fraction of the BIONEER processes. Celignis can make several important contributions to this topic, detailed here and summarised below:
  1. Produce aromatics using partially depolymerized lignin from our EnXylaScope/BIONEER process, which we believe to be an ideal feedstock for aromatic production due to its clean, unique form;
  2. Developing the microbial production of lignin-derived aromatics, like vanillin from ferulic acid, through collaborating with genetic engineering partners in the project;
  3. Demonstrating an enzyme-assisted process to extract and fractionate high-value aromatics from lignin, offering a novel, low-energy route for lignin valorisation;
  4. Applying rapid analysis and process optimisations to improve efficiencies, building on our successes in the CBE-JU project VAMOS.
As a Full Industry Member of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), Celignis is eligible to participate as a partner in CBE Innovation Action projects such as this one.

Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-IA-05

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-IA-06 – Innovative bio-based adhesives and binders for circular products meeting market requirements

This topic focuses on developing sustainable bio-based adhesives and binders to address health, safety, and environmental concerns associated with conventional fossil-based products. Proposals are expected to contribute to the diversification and application range of bio-based adhesives, ensuring they are cost-effective, perform well, and meet market and regulatory standards.

Some of the ways in which Celignis can contribute to this topic are detailed here and summarised below:
  1. Utilise our unique, partially depolymerized, lignin, obtained through an enzymatic process, to develop high-functionality, low-molecular-weight epoxy resins for adhesive applications;
  2. Engineer chitosan from second-generation sugars for adhesives, applying chemical and enzymatic modifications that are-being/will-be used in other CBE-JU projects for products in the personal care and coatings sectors;
  3. Developing and demonstrating xylan-based adhesives by functionalising the xylan and adhesives based on functionalised xylans and lignins cross-linked through chemical agents. Xylan and lignin-based adhesives provide the required rheology and better flow properties compared with cellulose;
  4. Leveraging our process engineering and techno-economic analysis skills to improve the feasibility and to optimise the bio-based adhesive production processes;
As a Full Industry Member of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), Celignis is eligible to participate as a partner in CBE Innovation Action projects such as this one.

Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-IA-06

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-IA-07 – Innovative conversion of biogenic gaseous carbon into bio-based chemicals, ingredients, materials

This topic is aimed at transforming biogenic gaseous carbon emissions from bio-based systems and biorefineries into sustainable chemicals, materials, and polymers. It aims to convert what is traditionally viewed as an environmental issue into an opportunity for the EU's socio-economic growth and strategic autonomy. Proposals should focus on capturing and converting these emissions efficiently, promoting industrial symbiosis in the bio-based sector to enhance environmental performance, resource efficiency, and carbon sequestration. Projects should demonstrate advanced carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies, assess their replication potential, and evaluate their contribution to EU climate and environmental objectives.

The strong fermentation expertise of the Celignis team allows us to contribute to projects in this topic in several areas, detailed here, with short summaries listed below:
  1. Transforming volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and CO2 into longer-chain fatty acids;
  2. Undertaking Clostridial gas fermentations to produce acids and solvents, involving process optimisations supported by constant analytical monitoring from lab-scale towards scaled-up experiments;
  3. Enriched CO2-utilising acetogens culture for the conversion of carbon-dioxide to acetic acid;
As a Full Industry Member of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), Celignis is eligible to participate as a partner in CBE Innovation Action projects such as this one.

Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-IA-07

Research and Innovation Actions (RIAs)

Below are listed our pitches for RIA topics in the CBE-JU 2024 Work Programme. For other topics click to jump to our lists for Innovation Actions (IA), Flagships (IAFlag), and Coordinating and Supporting Actions (CAS).

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-RIA-01 – Valorisation of polluted/contaminated wood from industrial and post-consumer waste streams

This RIA topic targets the development of innovative solutions for the recovery and recycling of post-consumer and post-industrial wood waste, a challenge complicated by the presence of contaminants. The goal is to transform this waste into sustainable bio-based products through new sorting, cleaning, and valorization technologies. Proposals should aim to decrease wood waste disposal through landfill and incineration, promoting circular business models. Successful projects should also demonstrate the feasibility of decontaminated wood waste as feedstock for various sectors, ensuring the process's environmental sustainability and social acceptance.

Celignis can make important contributions in a number of areas to this topic, detailed here and listed below:
  1. Contaminated wood valorisation to produce biobased wood coatings, building on our EnXylaScope fractionation technology and our PERFECOAT process for the production of coatings;
  2. Developing enzyme-based solutions for detoxifying contaminated wood, making it suitable for biorefinery applications by mimicking natural microbial processes;
  3. Analyze contaminated wood to identify heavy metal contaminants and develop biobased solutions for decontamination, enhancing the wood's suitability for various valorisation routes;
  4. Utilise our NIR expertise for the rapid analysis of contaminated wood, developing feedstock-specific NIR models to improve process control and decision-making;
  5. With our strong background in techno-economics and process optimization, we can identify cost reduction opportunities and enhance the feasibility of converting contaminated wood into valuable biobased products.
Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-RIA-01

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-RIA-02 – Biotech routes to obtain bio-based chemicals/ materials replacing animal-derived ones

Here the focus is on replacing animal-derived raw materials used in industries like cosmetics, textiles, and material production with sustainable bio-based alternatives from plants, fungi, algae, or microbes. This shift aims to address sustainability concerns, animal welfare issues, and health-risks associated with pathogens in animal products. Proposals should develop novel biotech production routes that are scalable and meet end-user requirements, ensuring safety, sustainability, and positive socio-economic impacts throughout the value chain.

Some of the contributions that Celignis can make to this project are detailed here and listed below:
  1. Engineered polysaccharide composites for replacement of animal derived products in the clothing and comfort sectors;
  2. Microbial and/or engineered plant polysaccharides to replace animal-derived gelatin;
  3. Engineered polysaccharides with plant oils to mimic the texture and functionalities of animal fats in food and cosmetics, enhancing moisture-holding properties and providing a vegan option;
  4. Using techno-economic analysis to identify cost-effective and efficient production routes for bio-based alternatives to animal-derived products;
Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-RIA-02

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-RIA-03 – Sustainable, bio-based alternatives for crop protection

This topic addresses the significant challenge of crop loss due to plant pests and diseases, emphasizing the need for sustainable bio-based alternatives to chemical synthetic pesticides. The topic aligns with policy goals to halve the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 2030. Proposals should focus on developing safe, effective, and environmentally friendly biopesticides, considering logistics, processing, and the impact of climate change on pest behavior. The aim is to increase the availability of cost-efficient, low-risk plant protection solutions, enhancing crop productivity and food security while minimizing the health and environmental impacts of pesticides.

Click here to read in detail how Celignis can contribute to projects in this topic. These potential contributions are also summarised below:
  1. Use of agricultural and forestry residues for the production of crude extracts as plant protectants, isolating polyphenols/flavonoids and leveraging our existing biomass fractionation processes for more sustainable extractions;
  2. Use microbial and fungal extracts as biopesticides, with a focusing on isolating and purifying the active compounds from promising strains for effective plant protection;
  3. Optimising the extraction and purification of potent plant metabolites, like tri-terpenoids, for their anti-microbial properties, aiming to improve the sustainability of the purification process;
  4. Using xylan-derived hydrogels for the encapsulation and controlled release of plant protectants.
Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-RIA-03

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-RIA-04 – SSbD bio-based coating materials for applications under demanding and/or extreme conditions

This topic targets the development of sustainable bio-based coatings to replace fossil-based and mineral-origin coatings currently prevalent in various industries like transport, construction, and textiles. The goal is to create safer, more environmentally friendly alternatives that meet market performance requirements and show potential for cost-effectiveness at scale. Proposals should diversify the portfolio of bio-based coatings, increase their application range, and improve sustainability, circularity, and health and safety profiles. They should also assess the feasibility of scaling up the developed solutions.

Click here for detailed descriptions on how Celignis can contribute to projects in this topic. These potential contributions are also listed below:
  1. Develop hydrophobic xylan- and xylose-based polymers for furniture coatings, aiming to extend their application to textiles for enhanced hydrophobicity and stain resistance.;
  2. Synthesize biobased polymers with anti-microbial and anti-fouling properties using zwitterionic molecules, targeting a variety of surfaces;
  3. Modifying lignins for water-based coatings, focusing on high-performance applications in construction and anti-fouling;
Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-RIA-04

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-RIA-05 – Innovative bio-based food/feed ingredients

CBE-2024-RIA-05 seeks to develop sustainable and healthy bio-based ingredients for human and animal nutrition. With the global push towards healthier and more sustainable food chains, this initiative focuses on pilot-scale development and validation of innovative food and feed ingredients like prebiotics, vitamins, and fats that enhance nutrition and health. Proposals are encouraged to explore breakthrough processes for known ingredients or novel ingredients, ensuring environmental, social, and economic sustainability, and involving end users early to assess market acceptance.

Our potential contributions are outlined in detail here and summarised below:
  1. Extracting and purifying RuBisCo for its nutritional properties, aiming to develop a cost-effective purification strategy to enhance its digestibility and functional benefits;
  2. Using xylan hydrogels for the efficient storage and delivery of pre- and post-biotics, aiming to overcome the limitations of current delivery systems and enhance the viability of probiotics;
  3. Using native and enzymatically-modified xylans as food and feed ingredients, particularly for their water-holding capacity and synergy with other food formulations;
  4. With our extensive expertise in techno-economic analysis and process optimisation, Celignis can help to make the production of bio-based food and feed ingredients more sustainable and economically viable.
Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-RIA-05

Flagships (IA-Flagship)

Below are listed our pitches for IA-Flagship topics in the CBE-JU 2024 Work Programme. For other topics click to jump to our lists for Research and Innovation Actions (RIA), Innovation Actions (IA), and Coordinating and Supporting Actions (CAS).

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-IAFlag-01 – Bio-based value chains for valorisation of sustainable oil crops

This topic focuses on the TRL-8 cultivation and use of oil crops for biorefining applications in Europe, emphasizing compatibility with biodiversity protection. It aims to enhance the bio-based industry's sustainability, strategic autonomy, and competitiveness without compromising food value chains. Proposals should demonstrate large-scale cultivation of oil crops that ensure environmental benefits, meet biorefinery requirements, and do not negatively impact the environment. The initiative seeks to develop bio-based products from these crops, revitalizing rural areas through green job creation and local business opportunities.

Listed below are some contributions that Celignis can make to this topic, click here to read about these in more detail.
  1. Detailed characterisation of oil crop feedstocks, processing outputs, and residues;
  2. Perform TEA and optimization studies to identify cost drivers and propose solutions to enhance the feasibility and sustainability of using oil crops in biorefineries;
  3. Provide rapid, on-the-go analytical data for process control, enhancing responsiveness and optimisation in processing oil crops for bio-based applications.
As a Full Industry Member of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), Celignis is eligible to participate as a partner in CBE Flagship projects such as this one.

Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-IAFlag-01

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-IAFlag-02 – Bio-based dedicated platform chemicals via cost-effective, sustainable and resource-efficient conversion of biomass

The focus of this Flagship topic is on overcoming the challenges of cost competitiveness and sustainability in the production of bio-based dedicated platform chemicals, which are currently at a medium/high technology readiness level but face hurdles in scaling up. Proposals should demonstrate cost-effective, large-scale production processes that enhance process efficiency and sustainability while reducing dependence on fossil feedstocks and minimizing waste. The project seeks to validate these bio-based chemicals in market-relevant applications.

Click here to read in detail on Celignis's potential contributions to this topic, which are summarised in the list below:
  1. Process Optimization Support - Combining bioprocess development expertise with compositional analysis capabilities, we can contribute towards improvements in products yields and qualities, also focusing on the valorization of side streams for a more sustainable production process;
  2. Techno-Economic Analysis and Process Modelling: To identify cost-reduction opportunities and enhance the sustainability and efficiency of the bio-based chemical production process;
  3. Compositional Analysis: Leveraging extensive experience, Celignis can provide in-depth compositional analyses aiding in understanding feedstocks, process streams, and product characteristics crucial for optimising bio-based chemical production;
  4. Rapid Analysis Methods: Utilizing advanced NIR models and expertise, Celignis can offer rapid analysis for real-time process control, enhancing efficiency and decision-making in the production of bio-based chemicals.
As a Full Industry Member of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), Celignis is eligible to participate as a partner in CBE Flagship projects such as this one.

Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-IAFlag-02

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-IAFlag-03 – Bio-based value chains for valorisation of sustainable natural fibre feedstock

This Flagship targets the sustainable development and large-scale deployment of natural fibre feedstock, encompassing both non-woody and wood-based fibres. It emphasizes sustainable agricultural and forestry practices to produce fibres that meet industrial requirements while ensuring biodiversity protection, soil health, and sustainability. Proposals should demonstrate sustainable cultivation, innovative biorefinery processes for fibre conversion, and the development of bio-based products meeting market demands.

Below are listed some of our potential contributions to projects under this topic, click here to read about these in more detail.
  1. Compositional Analysis: Celignis's extensive experience in compositional analyses of diverse biomass types will ensure accurate characterisation of feedstocks and by-products, crucial for optimizing fibre yield, quality, and sustainability within the bio-based value chains;
  2. Rapid Analysis Methods: Leveraging Celignis’s NIR expertise for real-time process control will enhance feedstock variability management, critical for the efficient production of sustainable fibres and ensuring their consistent quality for bio-based applications;
  3. Process Optimisation Support: Combining Celignis's bioprocess development services with our compositional analysis expertise, we can help to optimise biorefinery processes, enhancing yield, and quality while focusing on the sustainability and valorization of side-streams for fibre production.
  4. Techno-Economic Analysis: Our involvement in TEA will help to advance the project's commercial viability, focusing on reducing costs and enhancing the sustainability of fibre production.
As a Full Industry Member of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), Celignis is eligible to participate as a partner in CBE Flagship projects such as this one.

Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-IAFlag-03

Coordinating and Supporting Actions (CSAs)

Below are listed our pitches for CSA topics in the CBE-JU 2024 Work Programme. For other topics click to jump to our lists for Research and Innovation Actions (RIA), Innovation Actions (IA), and Flagships (IAFlag).

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-CSA-01 – New forms of cooperation in agriculture and the forest-based sector

This CSA topic is concerned with enhancing cooperation among primary producers and integrating them into bio-based value chains through innovative business models. This aims to distribute economic benefits more equitably, increase competitiveness, and provide access to markets and innovation. Proposals should explore cooperative models to optimize biomass processing for high-value bio-based products, improving sustainability, resilience, and job creation in rural areas. They should address the feasibility of new cooperation forms, develop wider value networks, and overcome barriers to using underutilized biomass.

Our experience in the CSA project ENABLING puts us in good stead for participation in this topic. Click here to read in detail about some of our potential contributions, which are listed below:
  1. Feedstock Composition and Availability Survey: We can provide detailed characterisation and availability data for underutilised biomass, leveraging its extensive database and experience from the ENABLING project to enhance biomass supply chain knowledge and support bio-based product development;
  2. Biomass Process Flows: Utilizing mathematical models developed for the ENABLING project, we can estimate the potential production capacities for biochemicals and biopolymers from various feedstocks, aiding in the optimization of bio-based value chains;
  3. Policy Development: Drawing on our involvement in the EnXylaScope project, we are equipped to review and recommend policy changes that encourage the use of bio-based alternatives, supporting the objectives of fostering a more sustainable and circular bioeconomy.
Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-CSA-01

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-CSA-02 – Mobilize inclusive participation in bio-based systems and supporting the CBE JU widening strategy and its action plan

This topic focuses on enhancing participation and innovation capacity in the bio-based sector among countries and regions within the EU that have not yet fully tapped into their potential in this area. It aims to implement the CBE JU Widening Participation strategy by fostering stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and collaboration across underrepresented regions to boost their involvement in the European bio-based economy. Proposals should support knowledge transfer, raise awareness of the CBE JU program, and encourage synergies with other funding programs and initiatives. The ultimate goal is to increase innovation, create green jobs, and promote a sustainable, circular bio-economy, particularly in areas that could benefit significantly from bio-based systems but have yet to do so.

Celignis has experience in participating in CSA projects with similar targets to this topic. We believe we can make important contributions in a number of areas, including those listed below.
  1. Knowledge Exchange and Start-up Experience - Celignis, originating from an EU-funded project and growing into a global bioeconomy service provider, can share valuable insights on transitioning research to commercial success. This experience, though from Ireland (outside the CBE-JU widening strategy countries), offers valuable knowledge exchange and guidance to newcomers, particularly from industries in underrepresented countries;
  2. Horizon Europe Participation Advice: Celignis's active involvement in numerous EU-funded projects, including successful participation in recent CBE-JU calls, positions us as a valuable resource for sharing best practices on EU proposal participation. We can facilitate the creation of an online platform for exchanging best practices and providing training, significantly benefiting stakeholders from underrepresented countries and regions looking to engage more effectively in the CBE-JU program and Horizon Europe calls.
Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-CSA-02

HORIZON-JU-CBE-2024-CSA-03 – Supporting the CBE JU Deployment Group on Primary Producers

This CSA topic concerns how to better integrate primary producers (farmers, foresters, fishers, etc.) into the circular bioeconomy, helping them benefit from sustainable practices. Proposals should support the CBE JU Deployment Group on Primary Producers in developing and updating an action plan to meet its objectives, while taking into consideration the particularities and specificities of each one of the identified primary sectors.

Below are listed some of our potential contributions to this topic, which are discussed in more detail here.
  1. Access to Celignis's network of primary producers and biobased industries - Our established connections with primary producers and bio-based industries across Europe can aid action plan development;
  2. Technology expertise - We can bring to the consortium the benefits of a Full-Industry Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC) member that understands the commercial considerations related to matching the right technologies and logistical structures with primary producers and the biobased industry players in Europe;
  3. Training and Support - Provide on-site training, educational materials, and coaching to enhance stakeholder knowledge of bio-based value chains and support primary producer understanding of alternative revenue streams.
Click here to read more about the contributions we can make to this topic as well as to get some more information about the call.

Full Pitch...CBE2024-CSA-03

The Value Celignis Can Bring to a CBE Project

We believe that we can make valuable contributions to projects covering a large number of the topics in the 2024 CBE work programme, based on our expertise in:

Extraction of Hemicellulose Polysaccharides

To date much of the innovations related to the valorisation of lignocellulosic feedstocks has focused on the cellulose and lignin fractions. In most technologies hemicellulose is broken down in the process to either monomeric sugars (e.g. xylose) or their derivatives (e.g. furfural). However, hemicelluloses, when retained in the polymeric form, can have outstanding physical and chemical properties which make them suitable for incorporation in an array of consumer products, replacing less-sustainable product components and so allowing for greener market options for the consumer.

Celignis is the technical lead in the €6m Horizon Europe project EnXylaScope which focuses on the efficient extraction of xylan, the most abundant hemicellulose polysaccharide, and its subsequent modification to confer properties that make it suitable as an ingredient in a scope of consumer products. In the CBE/BBI project PERFECOAT Celignis is also working on extraction of xylan, from different feedstocks, so that it can ultimately be used as a binder in paints and coatings. In the CBE-JU Innovation Action project BIONEER, due to start in June 2024, we will be scaling-up to TRL7 (1.5m3 reactor-scale) the xylan extraction process developed in these projects. We consider that integrating efficient methods for extracting hemicellulose polymers within the wider biorefinery process scheme will allow for higher-value products and a more sustainable and profitable process.

Our expertise in hemicellulose extraction is therefore relevant to a large number of topics within the CBE-JU 2024 Work Programme, in particular:
Related Projects

Modification of Polysaccharides

An efficient extraction process is only one component in developing value-added products from polysaccharides. In many cases further treatment of the polymer is required in order to confer the physical and chemical properties that are required for the desired application/market. Such properties that can be influences with these modifications include the the rheology and water-resistance of the polymers.

At Celignis we also have extensive experience in such modifications using both enzymatic and chemical approaches. For example, in the Horizon Europe project EnXylaScope we are active in the discovery and application of enzymes for the debranching of xylan and for its subsequent modification for additional functionalities. In the CBE/BBI project PERFECOAT the focus is on the chemical modification of xylan in order to enhance its properties for application as a binder in paints and coatings. We consider that integrating efficient methods for extracting hemicellulose polymers within the wider biorefinery process scheme will allow for higher-value products and a more sustainable and profitable process.

In PERFECOAT we are also working on the extraction and modification of chitosan, from prawn shells, whilst we have also internally worked on processes focused on the extraction and modification of pectin. Additionally, as outlined in the video below, we have developed processes for the modification of seaweed-derived alginate to confer the desired physicochemical properties.

In the CBE-JU Innovation Action project BIONEER, due to start in June 2024, we will be scaling-up to TRL7 (1.5m3 reactor-scale) many of the polysaccharide modification approaches described above.

The ability to selectively and cost-effectively modify polymers is a key component of many topics in the CBE-JU 2024 Work Programme, in particular:
Related Projects

Identification, Extraction, and Purification of High Value Chemicals in Biomass

The CBE-JU recognises that biomass valorisation can involve much more than the processing of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Non-structural components of the plant can also be of value, in some cases being worth thousands of Euros per kilogramme. There are numerous examples of such high value constituents, with the most prominent recent example being the extraction, isolation, and purification of cannabinoids (in particular CBD and CBG) from hemp, which has developed into a multi-billion Euro industry.

At Celignis, we can play important roles at all stages in the valorisation of such compounds, starting from their identification and ending in their purification and the testing and modification of their functional and chemical properties. For identification, we firstly get a crude extract from the feedstock, obtained via various approaches, including pressurised liquid extraction. This extract is then profiled using our top-range QTOF-LC/MS system (Agilent iFunnel 6550), which can identify constituents to the femtogram-level, and the spectra and chromatograms reviewed by Sajna, our Bioanalysis Developer. If necessary, we can collect the relevant fractions from the LC system and confirm the identification using a number of different chemical and spectroscopic techniques. We then determine which constituents warrant extraction and then work on optimising a targeted extraction method. This method considers not only the yield of the target compound(s) but also the chemical and energy costs of the process and the implications for the downstream processing and valorisation of the solid residue, evaluated by Oscar, our technoeconomics analysis (TEA) expert. We subsequently work on the isolation and purification of the targeted compound(s) from this extract, again considering the commercial and scale-up implications.

Celignis undertook such an approach in the CBE/BBI project UNRAVEL where the extractives of 25 feedstocks were profiled using QTOF-LC/MS. We identified betulin in birch bark as the most attractive compound and subsequently worked on developing an optimised extraction protocol and an isolation/purification process scheme that offered several advantages, in terms of sustainability and safety, over the current art. Click here for a news article on this work. We are also using employing our compositional analysis and purification expertise in the Horizon Europe project SteamBioAfrica where we evaluate and process the liquid condensate obtained from the steam torrefaction process and consider market applications for its constituents, fractions, and derivatives.

Our high-value-chemicals expertise is of particular value for improving the competitiveness of a biorefinery process, through employing the principle of the cascading use of biomass. For example, a relatively minor component of biomass can substantially improve the financial viability of a technology if it can be sold at a high price. As a result, such an approach can make important contributions to a number of the 2024 topics, such as:
Related Projects

Real-Time Analysis of Feedstocks and Process Outputs

We have extensive expertise in the development of algorithms and models for rapidly predicting the composition of samples using their near infrared spectra. This allows the time for analysis to be reduced from weeks to seconds. To date we have tens of thousands of biomass samples in our proprietary models for lignocellulosic composition and we have also developed custom models for feedstocks and pretreatment/bioprocess outputs in the CBE-JU/BBI-JU RIA projects BIOrescue and UNRAVEL. In BIOrescue we developed custom software, employing a browser interface for the user, that allowed us to tailor the model-generation and composition-prediction experience to the requirements of our lab personnel and in-house chemometricians. This software also employed advanced chemometric techniques that we proved, in project deliverables, to deliver improved accuracies in prediction over the conventional PLS approaches.

Our NIR and software development expertise was demonstrated at-scale in the recently-completed CBE-JU Innovation Action project VAMOS. At the demo-scale facility in Swansea, UK, we installed NIR equipment and deployed our latest software, "CelDeep", for at-line analysis by biorefinery operators. The VAMOS project allowed us to extend the reach of our predictive models beyond our own laboratories and into the global biorefinery landscape.

CelDeep results

We see many opportunities, within the 2024 CBE-JU topics, to apply and refine this at-line analysis system to other IA projects as well as for Flagship projects. In addition, we also plan for the deployment of in-line analyses, using Celignis-developed models, using the latest state-of-the-art and cost-effective hardware on the market.

While there are numerous options currently on the market for NIR hardware, there is no robust solution currently available for the at-line/in-line analysis of lignocellulosic feedstocks and process outputs/residues. This is due to the complexity of such analysis, the difficulties often faced in getting precise and representative data, and the widely varying outputs of different biomass processing technologies. At Celignis, however, we have years of expertise in getting precise lignocellulosic data and in using these data as inputs to our chemometric tools. As a result Celignis provides full vertical integration regarding advancing the art in rapid biomass analysis and the utilisation of biorefinery data.

Our abilities to develop on-site rapid analysis solutions are applicable to many of the Innovation Action and Flagship topics of the 2024 CBE-JU Work Programme, including:
Related Projects

Compositional Analysis

As detailed throughout this website, the Celignis team are highly experienced in a wide array of methods for the compositional analysis of biomass and process intermediates and outputs/residues for lignocellulosic and thermal properties. Our expertise also extends to seaweed, algae, and a large variety of functional molecules many of which have large future potential in substituting for the use of fossil fuels in the production of consumer and industrial products.

We have an wide array of equipment that allow us to obtain the required compositional data, including an extensive chromatography laboratory that includes state-of-the-art equipment, such as our QTOF-LC/MS system.

Our in depth understanding of the steps involved in the processing of biomass also allow us to bring forward suggestions to other partners in the consortium, based on the analytical data we obtain, on how the project's technologies can be improved.

Our expertise in compositional analysis, and in the understanding and process implications of compositional data, is relevant to all of the RIA, IA, and IAFlag topics of the 2024 CBE-JU Work Programme.

Related Projects

members of the Celignis Analytical team

Fermentation Optimisation

Microbial conversion of sugars to chemicals and fuels is considered advantageous over chemical processes, but is a challenging area due to the high number of variables involved in the process. Fermentation process development involves: selection of microbes to produce the desired product, screening of microbes, media engineering, process optimisation, scale-up, downstream designing, etc. Screening and optimisation involve hundreds of runs which is labour and time intensive. Know-how in the area of microbiology, bioprocess engineering and design of experiments (DOE) can significantly reduce the number of experimental runs and time involved in the preliminary screening and optimisation process.

With our CIO Lalitha and our Bioanalysis Developer Sajna we have the expertise and knowledge to optimise fermentation processes for high yield and productivity in short-time. Our personnel have proven scientific records in producing enzymes, biofuels, biosurfactants, exopolysaccharides and prebiotics through aerobic and anaerobic fermentation processes.

Celignis also has numerous bioreactors, ranging from 1 litre to 1.5m3 litres capacity, that allow us to undertake an extensive DoE approach in optimising fermentations.

Our expertise in fermentation is particularly relevant to the following topics of the 2024 CBE-JU Work Programme:
Related Projects

Discovery and Use of Enzymes

Our team has years of experience in discovery and use of enzymes for deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass and, with Celignis participation in EU projects like EnXylaScope, this experience is expanded to enzymes useful for modification of the xylan fraction of lignocellulosic biomass.

The discovery of enzymes needs rapid analysis methods and, by understanding the action of enzymes and the changes that occur in the substrate, the Celignis team can develop simple high-throughput screening methods for the discovery of enzymes. This is currently being undertaking in EnXylaScope for xylan side-chain acting enzymes.

Celignis is also discovering enzymes and designing enzyme cocktails for lignocellulose deconstruction aiming at production of monomeric and oligomeric sugars and for generating clean lignin for lignin valorisation purposes. We are undertaking the scaled-up (1.5 m3 reactor-scale) deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass to sugars as part of the CBE-JU Innovation Action project PROMOFER, which will start in July 2024.

As part of our STEAME project we are also isolating the microbes that have the ability to produce a cocktail of enzymes for increasing the productivity and yields of biogas from complex recalcitrant streams such as late cut grass, wheat straw and garden waste.

Celignis follows traditional methods in enzyme screening allowing the isolation of natural enzyme producers which means that enzyme cocktails developed by Celignis are non-recombinant in nature. The enzymes discovered are studied for various characteristics such as nature of protein (Molecular weight, hydrophobicity); kinetics (reaction and inhibition); optimum reaction conditions etc. Celignis has a collection of around 200 strains capable of producing a range of enzymes that act on a variety of substrates.

Our expertise in enzymes is particularly relevant to the following topics of the 2024 CBE-JU Work Programme:

Related Projects

Anaerobic Digestion and Fermentation

We have years of experience in various types of anaerobic fermentation and anaerobic digestion for the production of chemicals and fuels. The team has knowledge and experience in isolation and handling of Clostridial strains and clostridial fermentations for the production of hydrogen, organic acids and solvents. Celignis's CIO Lalitha Gottumukkala has published several articles in the area of Clostridial fermentation, especially for biobutanol. Lalitha also, during her time in Stellenbosch University, South Africa, optimised a process for the sequential production of bioethanol and biogas from paper sludge.

Celignis is using this expertise in the development of an advanced anaerobic digestion process design (STEAME) that allows high volumetric productivity and yields. This is being done as part of a nationally-funded project. In this process, the thermophilic nature of archaea is taken advantage of together with the ability of Clostridia to digest complex feedstocks. In STEAME Celignis is using expertise in biomass pretreatment together with microbial and enzyme expertise to enhance the anaerobic digestion of late-cut grass, wheat straw and other complex-recalcitrant agricultural residues.

Celignis also provides services for biomethane potential (BMP) determination; anaerobic toxicity assays; specific hydrolytic, acidogenic and methanogenic potential using its 90 1L anaerobic digestion reactors. Celignis has also the reactor set-up for continuous anaerobic digestion and sequential continuous anaerobic digestion that allows two stage and multi-stage digestion. Additionally, the Celignis team also has strong expertise in the valorisation and treatment of food industry effluent streams and is providing consultancy for three years for the operation of high-rate digesters that process 60 m3/h of dairy industry waste streams. This expertise is of particular value in EU projects where zero-pollution is the process target.

Our AD experience is particularly relevant to the following topics of the 2024 CBE-JU Work Programme:
Related Projects

Biomass Pretreatment and Fractionation

Based on our bioprocessing and compositional expertise, we have a very good understanding of how to optimise biomass pretreatment processes. For our clients we have analysed hundreds of samples of outputs from biomass pretreatment processes. We have a very strong understanding of the chemistry of biomass and how to evaluate the conversion and valorisation of the main constituents of lignocellulosic biomass (cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin). We target mass-closure in our analysis so that the full mechanisms of conversion can be understood and we have a suite of analytical methods to characterise process liquids for monomers, oligomers, sugar degradation products, and fermentability. Our CBE-JU project UNRAVEL concerned the development of a pretreatment process and Celignis played a key role in the project regarding the analysis of the products of pre-treatment and by investigating the influence of extractives in biomass pretreatment. In our completed BBI project BIOrescue we also analysed the solid and liquid outputs of biomass pretreatment and developed rapid analysis models for them using near infrared spectroscopy.

Additionally, in July 2024 the CBE-JU Innovation Action project PROMOFER will start. In that project Celignis is resposible for the at-scale (1.5m3 reactor-scale, equivalent to TRL7) pretreatment and hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass in order to provide second-generation sugars to other partners in the consortium. We will also be involved in optimising downstream stages of the process so that the sugars delivered to the project partners will be suitable for fermentation.

Our pre-treatment/fractionation expertise is particularly relevant to the following topics of the 2024 CBE-JU Work Programme:
Related Projects

Process Flow Diagrams and Techno-Economic Analysis of the Process

Bioprocesses are complicated, with several upstream and downstream process unit operations to achieve the final product. Celignis's process engineering team has several years of expertise in performing techno-economic analyses (TEA) for the conversion of biomass to biofuels and chemicals. Celignis performs techno-economic analysis from the process concept design and uses it for economic optimisation of the process together with the yield optimisation. This process is done iteratively during the course of the project to achieve the process optimised for conversion efficiencies and economics. Our process engineers develop TEAs for multiple scenarios of the same process and perform sensitivity analyses to identify the major contributors of the operation's cost to allow development of economically-viable processes without sacrificing the process yields.

Celignis is developing PFDs and performing TEA for the Horizon Europe project EnXylaScope, where the analysis is being performed for enzyme production, extraction of xylans, and use of enzymes for the modification of xylans.

Additionally, Celignis is the key TEA partner for the CBE-JU Innovation Action project MANUREFINERY, which will start in September 2024.

Our TEA expertise is relevant to all RIA, Innovation Action, and Flagship topics in the 2024 CBE-JU Work Programme.

Related Projects

PFD of a biogas process

Successful Proposal Writing and Proposal Evaluation

Dan Hayes wrote the €3.7m, 14 partner, EU project DIBANET from which Celignis spun-out of whilst, more recently, Lalitha Gottumukkala wrote the €6m, 13 partner, Horizon Europe project EnXylaScope, which started in 2021. Celignis personnel have also been successful as the primary authors of proposals for the EU's INNOSUP and Marie-Curie programmes, as well as for a number of nationally funded projects (e.g. the STEAME project).

In 2023 Celignis was invited to large number of consortia for CBE-JU proposals and we actively contibuted towards the writing process for these projects. As a result, we celebrated a number of successes when the results were announced in January 2024.

In addition, both Lalitha and Dan have, for a number of years, been Expert Evaluators for proposals submitted to the BBI-JU (the precursor to the CBE-JU). As a result we have a good understanding of what makes a good proposal and what will improve the chances of a project being funded, hence we can give valued advice to proposal coordinators regarding the direction and focus of a proposal.

Successful EU Proposals Primarily Written By Celignis Personnel

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