Newton Bhabha Industrial Waste BIOREVIEW

Lead Research Organisation: Aberystwyth University
Department Name: IBERS

Abstract

BIOREVIEW is a biorefining collaboration between industry and academics in UK and India that aims to develop novel industrial biotechnology (IB) processes to produce value added products from waste streams of the Indian sugar industry. The pilot scale (TRL 4-6) IB solutions will process sugar cane bagasse (SCB) and spent wash (SW) at sufficient quantities to demonstrate viable economic opportunities and waste management options through the development of a bio-product portfolio. This involves demonstrating bio-production of higher value volatile fatty acids (VFAs), xylitol and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) for the agri, food and pharmaceutical sectors. The scalable IB procedures offer improved environmental sustainability options over conventional manufacture and use membrane technology to increase the product value alongside a novel high productivity IB process for xylitol production from SCB. Delivery of a validated integrated biorefining process design evaluated for its economic, social and environmental benefits will inform diversification strategies and investment plans of the Indian sugarcane industry for commercial production of these commodities from waste streams.

Planned Impact

The industrial biotechnology consortium of BIOREVIEW are well placed to commercialise the pilot-scale bioprocesses and portfolio of bioproducts to be developed from the waste streams of the Indian sugarcane industry via translation of academic expertise and industrial "know-how". Activities described in BIOREVIEW are timely in the sense that there are identified business opportunities for diversification of the sugar mill product portfolio to meet identified market demands that are currently met through imports. The key opportunities for market entry come from xylitol and VFAs, which can gain an economic advantage from the biorefining processes being reverse integrated in to a commercial Indian sugar mills. Consortium member Gayatri sugars Ltd, have the refining infrastructure in place to support industrial fermentation of sugarcane bagasse through to xylitol and are an end user for the proposed commercial solutions to the issue of spent wash disposal from onsite ethanol production. As part of the Gaytri Group, a respected and large Indian multinational company, GSL have the commercial ability to scale these emerging bioprocesses to an industrial level and develop the supply chain necessary to bring these products along with microcrystalline cellulose and VFA activated water filters to market. BIOREVIEW will deliver a validated, pilot scale integrated biorefining process design to inform investment plans of GSL and other Indian sugar mill owners for diversification and commercial production of these commodities from current waste streams.
The impact of BIOREVIEW will directly relate to and support the UK Government's Industrial Strategy, with biotechnology identified as a key growth sector in this years' Green Paper, where the use waste as a feedstock rather than food is a key feature. BIOREVIEW has brought together UK waste biorefining, engineering and environmental companies, Fre-Energy, Membranology, Manrochem and LCAworks to address industrial waste issues in India and has connected them with a sugar refinery capable of adopting these UK technologies to meet the sugar industry's needs. The Executive Director of Gayatri Sugars, Mrs T. Sarita Reddy, is also the President of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA). The ISMA has a membership of 201 sugar mills and is recognised by both Central and State Governments as the primary voice of sugar industry in India. The ISMA maintains close contacts with all regions through a network of regional associations and with international organisations through transnational bodies. The ISMA also acts as an interface between the industry and Government on matters relating to sugar policy, statistics, sugar price movement etc.
The ISMA will greatly enhance the ability to disseminate project outcomes and impact directly to both potential industry end users and government policy makers. Once the pilot scale demonstration units have been commissioned and are operational, a series of knowledge exchange workshops will be promoted through Gayatri Sugars and the ISMA to encourage technology take up within existing Indian sugar mills. In the UK we will engage with local authorities and regional agencies through direct presentations and targeted project dissemination events. We envisage an on-going relationship fostered by regular contacts between the University networks and local and national policy makers. Due to the cross-disciplinary nature of the project (food, IB, chemistry, engineering, water, waste management) final research outcomes will be disseminated to relevant research funding groups (Innovate UK, BBSRC, EPSRC, NIBB networks, etc.) to enhance impact and encourage policy changes to support similar cross-disciplinary funded projects. Masters and PhD students will be taught the latest technological advancements in waste bioprocesses from genome engineering, fermentation science, scale-up and downstream processing for product recovery.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Batch and continuous pretreatment of sugarcane bagasse(SCB), a fibrous waste from sugarcane processing, has been optimised to release the C5 sugar xylose for fermentation through to xylitol an natural low calorie, diabetic compatible sweetener that inhibits toot decay. The fermentation process has exceeded the objective in terms of rate and titre (amount produced). Voltile fatty acid production from spent wash has been developed both batchwise and continuously, which is currently under development. Down stream processing of volatile fatty acids (VFA's) i.e. acteic, propionic and butyric acids, from anaeorbic digestate has beed developed at pilot-scale in the UK and plans are under way to ship this equipment to India later in 2020 for installation at Gayatria Sugars Ltd (GSL). Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) has been produced from SCB that has application in pharmaceutical and food grade products and scale-up plans are underway. VFA activated fiber filters are being developed for use in heavy metal recovery from waste water. These product data are supported by process integration and technoeconomic assessmnet in order to assess the commercial viability of extending a lignocellulosic biorefinery onto GSLs sugar mill. Studies have been performed to determine the enviripnmental impact of the processes in terms life cycle assessment investigating the greenhouse gas emmissions associated with these products and processes. These data are in the early stages of assessment
Exploitation Route While the immediate beneficiary of these products aon processes would be Gaytri Sugars Ltd, it is envisaged that other sugar mills in India may also benefit from licensing these technologies.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

URL http://www.bioreviewproject.org/
 
Description BioPOL4Life: Biologically Derived Polyesters and Poluamides - Production, Processing and Circular Life
Amount £503,244 (GBP)
Funding ID USW274 / C80761 
Organisation University of South Wales 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2020 
End 03/2023
 
Description EcoXyl scale up project for ARCITEK Bio Ltd
Amount £257,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 05/2020
 
Description Innovate UK Newton-Bhabha India BIOREVIEW Project COVID-19 Continuity Grant Application by Fre-energy Limited
Amount £91,976 (GBP)
Funding ID 73817 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2020 
End 11/2020
 
Description Value Added Materials from Organic Waste Sugars (VAMOS)
Amount € 6,984,813 (EUR)
Funding ID 837771 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2019 
End 08/2022
 
Description Cambi Steam explosion demonstration scale 
Organisation Cambi
Country Norway 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Discussions have been held to explore the use of the Cambi hydrothermal pretreatment system for SCB.
Collaborator Contribution Discussions have been held to explore the use of the Cambi hydrothermal pretreatment system for SCB.
Impact None as yet. This is a collaboration between engineers, chemical engineers and biotechnologists in adacemia and industry.
Start Year 2021
 
Description NovaPangea Technologies (NPT) and ARCITEKBIO Ltd (ABL) join BIOREVIEW 
Organisation ArcitekBio Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The BIOREVIEW team at AU worked with NPT and ABL to resolve biomass processing issues that occur at TRL5/6 i.e dust handling. BIOREVIEW and ABL reduced the dust load of 1 tonne biomass and NPT pretreated this material to release a C5 sugar rich hydrolysate.
Collaborator Contribution The AU team helped guide ABL on hydrolysate extraction and clarification prior to the hydrolysate being fermented up to 100 L at BioBase Europe
Impact Technoeconomic assessment of the fermentation process to convert xylose to xylitol and technoeconomic on the scalability of biomass pretreatment. An NDA has been approved to bring both NPT and ABL into BIOREVIEW as associate partners in order that they may share TEA data relating to pretreatment, fermentation and DSP at scales that ore of a higher TRL than work to be conducted in BIOREVIEW. These data will help form the business case for this process and enable Gayatri Sugars Ltd to make buisiness investment decisions relating to product diversisfication and the necessary Capex and Opex required.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NovaPangea Technologies (NPT) and ARCITEKBIO Ltd (ABL) join BIOREVIEW 
Organisation ArcitekBio Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The BIOREVIEW team at AU worked with NPT and ABL to resolve biomass processing issues that occur at TRL5/6 i.e dust handling. BIOREVIEW and ABL reduced the dust load of 1 tonne biomass and NPT pretreated this material to release a C5 sugar rich hydrolysate.
Collaborator Contribution The AU team helped guide ABL on hydrolysate extraction and clarification prior to the hydrolysate being fermented up to 100 L at BioBase Europe
Impact Technoeconomic assessment of the fermentation process to convert xylose to xylitol and technoeconomic on the scalability of biomass pretreatment. An NDA has been approved to bring both NPT and ABL into BIOREVIEW as associate partners in order that they may share TEA data relating to pretreatment, fermentation and DSP at scales that ore of a higher TRL than work to be conducted in BIOREVIEW. These data will help form the business case for this process and enable Gayatri Sugars Ltd to make buisiness investment decisions relating to product diversisfication and the necessary Capex and Opex required.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NovaPangea Technologies (NPT) and ARCITEKBIO Ltd (ABL) join BIOREVIEW 
Organisation Nova Pangaea Technologies
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The BIOREVIEW team at AU worked with NPT and ABL to resolve biomass processing issues that occur at TRL5/6 i.e dust handling. BIOREVIEW and ABL reduced the dust load of 1 tonne biomass and NPT pretreated this material to release a C5 sugar rich hydrolysate.
Collaborator Contribution The AU team helped guide ABL on hydrolysate extraction and clarification prior to the hydrolysate being fermented up to 100 L at BioBase Europe
Impact Technoeconomic assessment of the fermentation process to convert xylose to xylitol and technoeconomic on the scalability of biomass pretreatment. An NDA has been approved to bring both NPT and ABL into BIOREVIEW as associate partners in order that they may share TEA data relating to pretreatment, fermentation and DSP at scales that ore of a higher TRL than work to be conducted in BIOREVIEW. These data will help form the business case for this process and enable Gayatri Sugars Ltd to make buisiness investment decisions relating to product diversisfication and the necessary Capex and Opex required.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Steam explosion for Leeds Univesity Industrial Waste Challenge Project 
Organisation University of Leeds
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution AU performed steam explosion pretreatment on municipal solid MSW
Collaborator Contribution Leeds supplied MSW do AU for pretreatment
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2019
 
Description Sugarcane bagasse trials with Advanced microwave technologies (AMT) Ltd 
Organisation Advanced Microwave Technologies
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The BIOREVIEW sugarcane bagasse (SCB) pretreatment and bioconversion to xylitol team have held discussions with AMT to explore the use of their technology to release hemicellulose from SCB. We have supplied material ground to the requisite size distribution for compatibility with their system and are awaiting samples to be returned in order to assess the effect of microwave pretreatment.
Collaborator Contribution AMT have pretreated SCB supplied by BIOREVIEW and are in the process of returnung samples to the Aberystwyth University BIOREVIEW team for chemical analysis.
Impact No outputs so far. This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between biotechnologists, engineers and chemical engineers
Start Year 2021
 
Company Name AR CITEKBIO Ltd 
Description Our application aims to enable the operation of a new spin-out company from Aberystwyth University called ARCITEKBio Ltd (ABL). The primary vision of the company is to provide sustainable solutions for the manufacturing of xylitol through innovations in Industrial Biotechnology (IB). Xylitol, a natural sweetener, with wide ranging applications as a sugar substitute has an existing market of USD 730M forecasted to cross USD 1B by 2020 (CAGR of 6.2%). Regulatory and raw material supply issues with current commercial production, via a chemical catalysis process, has resulted in a global supply shortage and resultant price spike (by almost 50%). ABL aims to use this opportunity using its disruptive EcoXyl technology and offers a raw material agnostic, cost-effective, sustainable and regulatory-compliant production approach. Overall we strive to curtail the global sugar epidemic and promote sustainable living whilst ensuring job creation and growth. EcoXyl's innovation include easing the strained supply chain by providing flexibility in raw material sourcing (uses waste from multiple sectors like farming, sugar, brewing, paper/pulp), lowering manufacturing costs by increasing sugar capture (75% vs current 40%) along with reducing number of process steps and promoting sustainable manufacturing by avoiding harsh conditions employed currently (toxic catalyst, high temperature/pressure). EcoXyl also overcomes typical drawbacks of other proposed biotech manufacturing routes (incomplete sugar conversion, microbial intolerance to waste liquor, inefficient downstream purification) yielding favorable process economics and strong potential to undercut current manufacturing. A process patent application for the technology is currently in PCT phase. Whilst EcoXyl's has been implemented at TRL4 (g scale) to yield a minimum viable product, prospective technology adopters require demonstrable proof of EcoXyl's continued efficacy following further scale-up (TRL6; ton scale). Key project objectives thus include - de-risking technology adoption through demonstration of process scalability from TRL4 to TRL5 (kg) and eventually TRL6 (tons; to be done after securing further funding), private sharing of prototype with collaborative end-users for beta-testing and early-stage regulatory assessments, engaging organisations with manufacturing expertise for potential Joint Venture/licensing agreements and/or identifying contract manufacturing opportunities for product delivery via partnering with xylitol distributors; and raising company profile via participation in business competitions and Investment forums, to enable further equity-driven funding via banks and VCs. ABL possesses 2 Letters of Intent from xylitol distributors. Initial discussions with Development Bank of Wales for securing further funds have been favorable. Other focus areas include rapid growth, building team with complimentary skills and ensuring company sustainability via sustained revenue generation. 
Year Established 2019 
Impact ARCITEKBIO Ltd launch date is 14th March 2019.
 
Description 2019 Brasil-UK Workshop Sustainable Chemicals and Fuels through Synthetic Biology 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Researchers and industrialists from the UK, Brazil and Argentina met at Brazilian Biorenewables National Laboratory (LNBR), Giuseppe Máximo Scolfaro, 10.000
Guará, Campinas (SP), CEP: 13083-100 to discuss the role of synthetic biology and how this can influsence the production of renewable fuels. Brynat gave and overview of BIOREVIEW and the role of synthetic biology in the production of the higher value product xylitol from sugar cane bagasse.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description AIEC opening 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Opening of AU new Biorefining centre. Presentations were made on current biorefining projects along with equipment available to academics and industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description BBSRC IUK Newtion/Bhabha DBT Industrial Waste Challenge Project Kick-off(s) Delhi, December 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The meeting was focussed on the awarded BBSRC IUK Newton/Bhabha DBT Industrial Waste Challenge Projects to foster international co-operation between projects, businesses and academia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.bioreviewproject.org/
 
Description Dr Sreenivas Rao Ravella invited as a Distinguished Speaker at Global Bio-India 2019 organised by DBT, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Sreenivas Rao Ravella was invited by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, as a Distinguished Speaker at Global Bio-India 2019. He was part of the biofuel panel, the event held at Aerocity, New Delhi, 21-23 November 2019. This was India's first large biotechnology conference organised by Government of India. During the Conference Dr. Rao mentioned about BBSRC, Innovate UK and BIOREVIEW.
Global Bio-India 2019 was India's first biotechnology stakeholders conglomerate, more than 2500 participants attended the summit. The participants include CEOs of global biotech companies in India, VIPS, and ministers (Government of India) Union Minister for Science and Technology, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Commerce & Industry Minister, Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology. Several reports on Indian biotechnology were released during the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.globalbioindia.com/
 
Description Dr. Sreenivas Rao Ravella - International Capacity Building programme with Chaitanya Postgraduate College, India 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Dr Sreenivas Rao Ravella visited India in December 2019, as part of International Capacity building with Chaitanya Degree and Post Graduate College, Warangal, India. I spent time with students and staff during an applied biotechnology and process optimisation course organised by Department of Biotechnology, Chaitanya Postgraduate College. This course was funded by the Society for Applied Microbiology (SFAM), UK. During the workshop Dr. Rao mentioned about BBSRC, Innovate UK and BIOREVIEW to the participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://beaconwales.org/en/blog/view/sreenivas-in-india
 
Description IBERS Centenary Celebrations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Celebration of IBERS 100 years in plant breeding. Presentations given on biorefining projects and available equipment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Innovation and Diversification Wales (Farming Connect Wales) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Stand hosted by Membranology, supported by Manrochem, FreEnergy and Aberystwyth University to promote BIOREVIEW to the public and business community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Membranology also presented a stand at an event organised by the Knowledge Transfer Network on the 27th February 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Membranology also presented a stand at an event organised by the Knowledge Transfer Network on the 27th February 2020: Food Industry Innovation 2020 - Focusing on Food waste challenge solutions, Sheffield.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Membranology presented a stand at an event organised by the Knowledge Transfer Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Membranology presented a stand at an event organised by the Knowledge Transfer Network on the 25th February 2020: Food Industry Innovation 2020 - Focusing on Plant based/alternative proteins, Birmingham. This event was looking at novel proteins and there was interest in looking at waste sugars for valorising products. Details collected and further discussions needed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Newtown rotary Club Visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presented current and post research in the area of biorefining.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Nova Pangea Technologies Visit to Aberystwyth University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Nova Pangea Technologies (NPT) visited with BIOREVIEW team at IBERS, Aberystwyth University (AU), to discuss collaboration and integreation of their industrial biomass pretreatment process with the xylitol Bioprocess developed at AU. Since this interaction biomass has been processed and in collaboration with AU sipn out ARCITEK-Bio Ltd (ABL), up to 1000 L of NPT wheat straw hydrolysate has successfully been converted into xylitol. An NDA to include both NPT and ABL as associate partners is being prpoared in order to share technoeconomic data from each company with the BIOREVIEW team to inform scale-up and commercial deployment at Gayatri Sugars ltd, India.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Press release for the BIOREVIEW project awarded by the BBSRC Innovate UK Newton/Bhabha DBT Industrial waste challenge call.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/news/archive/2018/10/title-217286-en.html
 
Description Royal Society of Chemistry Roadshow 2019 CSIR-IICT 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Oral presentation given entitled "Microcrystailline cellulose production from sugar cane bagasse: sustainable process development through LCA". Best oral presentation prize awarded INR 4000:
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description The Beacon project at IBERS (AU) had a virtual celebration to mark 10 years of investment 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Beacon project at IBERS (AU) had a virtual celebration to mark 10 years of investment to build a greener economy which Mark Drakeford, the First Minister for Wales attended. The Bioreview project was discussed at this online event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://beaconwales.org/en/blog/view/first-minister-celebrates-10-years-of-investment-to-build-a-gree...
 
Description Visit from UTM 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Return Visit by UTM team for further discussion on potential collaborative research and studentships etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Visit to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Major discussions with Staff at both of the UTM campuses on areas of collaboration in Industrial biotechnology, bio-circular economy, engagement with Business, possible studentships and available equipment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Workshop on Q-dot and Nanostructured Materials for Water Treatment (Q-dot-NMat-for Water) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Workshop on Q-dot and Nanostructured Materials for Water Treatment (Q-dot-NMat-for Water) Organized by Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology, C-MET, Pune University of Leeds, UK 15-16 November 2019 Venue C-MET, Pune, 411 008 Event is supported by the Royal Society, London, International Collaboration with India.
Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), Pune is organizing an Workshop on Nanostructured Materials, Processing & Device Fabrication (Q-dot- NMat- for Water) at Pune, India sponsored by the Royal Society of UK, London during 15 and 16th November 2019
The workshop objective was to bring together leading academics, scientists, engineers, and industry partners to exchange and share this platform for meeting challenges in energy and water, which are essential for life on the planet. The proposed topics will lead to thematic discussions and it is intended that the high-quality work may be reviewed for taking forward to proposals. Presentations by Bryant, Aberystwyth University, and Thippeswammy, Manrochem Ltd, developed the use of the Q-Dot platform to resolve process bottlenecks in industrial biotechnology that could help improve the transition of clean-growth and development of the bioeconomy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019