€9.36 million investment for gas fermentation research facility

ERDF Flanders and Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BBEPP) have signed an agreement for an investment of €9.36 million as part of a project to build up a new research infrastructure specifically for gas fermentation and down-stream processing. The initiative comes under the framework of the IMPACT project.

Financing for the investment has come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Flanders; the Province of East Flanders; the City of Ghent; and BBEPP.

Gas fermentation uses micro-organisms to convert waste gases such as CO2 ­and syngas into a wide spectrum of chemicals. BBEPP will build a unique scale-up facility for gas fermentation, which they hope will become a global reference for gas fermentation, in turn making Flanders a testing ground for the sustainable technology.

BBEPP is a testing facility for the biobased economy. It assists with the scale-up of laboratory processes into industrially viable ones, for innovative biobased products such as bioplastics, biodetergents, biosolvents, biochemical and biomaterials. So far, the facility has collaborated with 180 projects from Flanders and abroad, helping innovations get closer to the market.

Minister Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation and Sports, said: "Flanders has taken up the climate challenge to fight global warming. The best way to do this is to make full use of innovation in close cooperation with our companies and knowledge institutions. We try to reduce CO2 emissions but also seek ways to use CO2 as a raw material for making useful products. Through our support to the Bio Base Pilot Plant, we strengthen the Flemish pioneers in this area and accelerate the transformation of research into practice. This will be good for the climate as well as create jobs in our steel and other industries."

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