SynchUp! is initiated by REWIN

Dewatering biomass more energy-effienctly

Challenge closes in:

2021-05-21 17:00


How can we dewater our biomass more economically and energy-effienctly?

We plan to process a few thousand tonnes of yeast-derived biomass each year, which contains certain fatty components that we want to extract. This is a difficult process, mainly because the biomass has a water content of approximately 80 to 90%. Currently, we dewater the biomass through spray drying, an energy-intensive and expensive method of creating dry matter.

Using ethanol, we then extract the components of interest to us from the dry biomass, while the remainder is used as animal feed. Annually, we need about 500 tonnes of dry matter to produce the desired component, which we would prefer to extract from the driest possible biomass, as this also makes the process of recovering ethanol less energy-intensive.

What are we looking for?

We are therefore looking for an energy-efficient, economical and sustainable way to reduce the overall water content of the biomass to less than 50%, so that we are left with a firm, dry cake. The challenge is to dewater the biomass without preheating it, in order to prevent the fatty substances from breaking down. We are open to ideas based on centrifugation, filtration and filter pressing.


What aren’t we looking for?

We are not looking for energy-intensive, expensive solutions, such as spray drying or evaporation.


What’s in it for you?

If your idea works and proves attractive, we may be interested in purchasing the system on contract. To get there, you will obviously have access to the base material and our production environment, to conduct the necessary tests and research. We are happy to work with you in the development process and provide input of our own. Our R&D department and technical services department are at your disposal, as is a pilot budget. We are willing to explore and enter into other forms of cooperation, if suitable.

We expect that a workable solution can also be deployed in similar production processes outside of Carbogen Amcis. Many companies around the world are facing similar issues and any suitable, energy-efficient method would clearly have enormous potential.


How can BioVoice benefit you?

  • An innovation contract with a launching customer/partner!
  • Funding (€10,000 vouchers, to be spent in the regional ecosystem for e.g. testing, lab and demo facilities, IP consulting, etc.)
  • Coaching and counselling
  • A stage and free publicity
  • Knowledge and contact with experts
  • Access to a network of potential partners & customers, resources and research facilities


The BioVoice programme

BioVoice is an initiative of REWIN West-Brabant, Green Chemistry Campus, the joint Rabobanks of Southwest Netherlands and the province of North Brabant. Dockwize, Impuls Zeeland, Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy and Midpoint Brabant have also joined as implementation partners. Together, we want to give innovative entrepreneurs and up-and-coming biobased/circular talents the space and opportunities to develop and market their idea/product, so as to achieve our common goal: accelerating the transition to a sustainable economy.

BioVoice is made possible by financial contributions from the Regional Deal for Central and Western Brabant, the Province of North Brabant, the Province of Zeeland and Rabobank.  


Conditions of participation

We are looking for a partner who will provide or is likely to provide a workable solution within approximately 1 to 3 years. Ideally, your idea should be near the end of the development phase and you should be ready or almost ready for a demonstration project. TRL level 6-7 (TRL = Technology Readiness Level). However, we are open to all ideas & solutions and would gladly explore potential avenues together.


Your pitch (max 6 pages / 18 slides)

  • Concept description: Describe your concept in as much detail as possible.
  • Pilot description: Please provide a brief description of what it will take to prototype and/or pilot and what you will need from us to do so.
  • Team description: Provide a brief description of the company and team that plans to work on the pilot.

There are no formal requirements for the pitch (presentations, slide decks & letters are all allowed), apart from the fact that it must be uploaded as a PDF file (A4, landscape or portrait) with a max. size of 30MB. Videos, example websites and so on can be included as links.  



  • 29 March ’21: Challenge launch – open for applications
  • 21 May ’21 – 5:00 pm: Challenge deadline – sign up no later than 5 pm
  • 4 June ’21: Longlist announced – A longlist of start-ups/scale-ups that are invited to meet the challengers is announced
  • 14-25 June ’21: Digital introduction meetings with challengers & participants + information session about confidentiality and IP
  • 2 July ’21: Shortlist announced based on interviews – A shortlist of start-ups/scale-ups that will be given the opportunity to work on an innovation contract is announced
  • 5-11 July ’21: Make schedule & working agreements + coordinate NDA if necessary
  • 12 July through 6 October ’21: Challenge weeks – sessions with challengers, participants & coaches to arrive at an innovation contract
  • 29 September ’21: Apply for vouchers – submit draft innovation contract + apply for vouchers
  • 6 October ’21: Vouchers awarded – submit final innovation contract + vouchers are awarded
  • 14 October ’21: Match event – celebrating the innovation contracts and partnerships + presentation of vouchers
  • 15 October ’21: Start of development & collaboration (pilot)



If you have any questions about this challenge, please head to the contact options below. For more information about the challenge program, click here.  


Background information

Carbogen Amcis is an international company with a branch in Veenendaal at which approximately 70 people are employed and that mainly produces Cholesterol, Vitamin D and derivatives. The lines of communication are short and employees have a real roll-up-your-sleeves mentality. In the past, cooperation between the production department, technical services department and R&D department has led to very interesting results during troubleshooting and automating sub-processes. The management is very accessible and has a broad vision that fosters collaboration.

The Veenendaal branch has recently been featured on two TV programmes, which paint a good picture of our branch in Veenendaal. To find out more, visit the links below:

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