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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-05-01 - 2020-04-30

Modern circular bioeconomy concepts undoubtedly involve the generation of value-added products by using modern, specific and efficient technologies. Enzymes as powerful biocatalysts are already used in many biorefineries. In the pulp and paper industry, environmentally friendly enzyme based processes such as for deinking, bleaching or refining have been developed more than 20 years ago, while implementation is still restricted due to the high enzymes cost. On the other hand, valuable components like residual cellulose fibres in waste streams, such as from deinking of recycled paper are currently under-exploited. Similarly, due to various reasons nitrogen rich waste streams from abattoirs are primarily used for energy production. Building on these facts, the major aim of this InduZyme project is the in-house production of enzymes used in the P & P and waste processing industries using cellulose present in deinking sludge as carbon source and abattoir waste as a nitrogen source and source of other essential nutrients for microbial growth. The use of such waste streams, consequently not only leads to value added products namely enzymes (InduZymes) that are required by these industrial partners at lower cost but also reduces the amount of waste generated in the respective industrial processes . Hence, the InduZyme concept, after subsequent optimization and industrial scale-up will allow the companies to save cost both due to on-site enzyme production and due to converting waste difficult to dispose into valuable products. In detail, the tasks of InduZyme will involve enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose fiber in deinking sludge in order to produce valuable sugars as carbon source for microbial enzyme production. Thereby, the nitrogen as well as other essential nutrients needed for microbial growth will be recovered from protein rich abattoir waste streams. Enzyme production will be accessed for e.g. cellulases, hemicellulases, lipases, proteases needed by the same industries for e.g. deinking and production of biodiesel, amongst for other enzyme based processes. This concept is novel and economically attractive since in contrast to many other concepts a market and demand for the value-added biorefinery products (i.e. the enzymes) already exists within the companies.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-12-01 - 2020-11-30

VOLATILE aims in the development of an innovative Volatile Fatty Acids Platform for the bioconversion of municipal solid bio-waste fraction and sludgy biowaste from other industries. The platform will be integrated in anaerobic digestion. The volatile fatty acids will be recovered continuously using sophisticated membrane technology and will be provided as feedstock / carbon source for value added fermentation approaches such as biopolymer PHA to be tested in material applications, single cell oil as precursor for oleochemical industry as well as long chain unsaturated health-promoting Omega-3 fatty acids to be used as food ingredient or nutraceutical. PHA will be obtained by bacterial fermentations, single cell oil from yeast cultivation and Omega-3 fatty acids via heterotrophic microalgae. The process development will be accompanied with sophisticated LCA study in order to ensure environmental friendly process design. The project will also work on solutions to typical barriers beside others such as quality requirements, continuous and sufficient feedstock supply or interaction between members of value chain using agent-based modelling. Also the effect of legal stimuli and restrictions and subsidies and taxes will be studied and a link between product requirements and markets will be established. VOLATILE will prepare a Roadmap indicating future research needs but also giving suggestion for legislative improvements. A CEN workshop will be initiated to discuss with external stakeholders rules for the VFAP & to set up standard requirements in the form of a CEN workshop Agreement.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-10-01 - 2018-09-30

In the last years the research on algae cultivation as well as algae production for food and feed additives, cosmetics, pigments and 3rd generation biofuels increased in Europe, and especially in Lower Austria, where five companies have been active in this field. As algae production – similar to aquaculture – has a high water demand, sustainable handling of water resources is indispensable. In the scientific community little information is available on recycling of algae process water. In specific, a lack of information exists on the determination of soluble components in algae process water and their effect on algae growth. For this reason, the main aim of this project, which will be conducted in cooperation of Bioenergy2020+, BOKU IFA-Tulln and Ecoduna, is to save fresh water and reduce waste water production by recycling process water. The general aim is to characterise the gained process water on nutrient composition, the presence of active compounds (bioactive substances, soluble algal / microbial products) and to determine their effect on algae cultivation as well as to determine microbial contaminants. Overall, the results gained within this project will ensure an effective and sustainable handling of water at algae cultivation, helping Lower Austria to keep its lead in the fields of clean water resources, good water treatment as well as algae research and production.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations