Symbiose: matchmaking voor circulaire economie en grondstoffen
Symbiose is een matchmaking platform om industriële nevenstromen een hoogwaardigere toepassing te geven, volgens het principe van Lansink. Dit wordt bereikt via actieve workshops, bedrijfsbezoeken en een interactieve databank.

Het Symbiose-project startte in september 2012 en werd gesubsidieerd door het Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen tot en met december 2015. Catalisti maakte actief deel uit van de uitvoering van het project van september 2014 tot december 2015.

Symbiose heeft met meer dan 300 organisaties en bijna 2000 stromen voor grondstoffen en technologieën voldoende kritische massa in zijn databank om een impact te kunnen maken op de Vlaamse industrie. Dit valt ook op aan de resultaten van de matchmaking activiteiten die met deze data gebeurden. Van de duizenden linken die werden gemaakt werden er een 500-tal nauwer gevolgd. Hiervan kwam er feedback van 11 bedrijven dat zij een geslaagde match maakten voor een totaal geschatte economische meerwaarde van meer dan €1.000.000/jaar.

Als men hierbij de gekende koppelingen neemt die in onderhandeling of testfase zitten overstijgt de gezamenlijke kostenbesparing de 2,5 miljoen euro. Daarboven komt nog een groot potentieel dat nu nog niet bekend is.

OVAM en VITO zetten in de komende jaren de werking van het platform verder.

Voor meer informatie kan u terecht bij Johan Gemoets ( en Andy Vancauwenberghe ( of op de website

Geef uw stromen online door!
Er is de mogelijkheid uw stromen door te geven via onze template.
Stuur deze ingevuld naar . Wij zullen dan uw stromen ter harte nemen en kijken of er interessante of nieuwe synergiën voor uw bedrijf mogelijk zijn.
Houd tijdens het invullen indachtig dat hoe gedetailleerder de template wordt ingevuld, hoe sneller de juiste matches gemaakt zullen worden.
Veel success alvast!



Lipase catalyzed solvent free esterification of fatty acids with lower alcohols

Every year, about 100,000 tons of natural fatty acids are used in the production of various esters of fatty acids.The esters with lower alcohols (methyl, ethyl -n-propyl, isopropylandbutylesters) are used as emollient in cosmetics and other personal care products and lubricants. Esters of fatty acids with poly alcohols are used in food and personal care.

Lipase-based esterification in the absence ofsolvent shows clear advantages compared to traditional chemical processes through process simplification, increased product quality and reduced carbon footprint.Today, the commercial availability of lipase-catalyzed esters is very limited due to a gap in available technology for the esterification of fatty acids with lower alcohols.

The current partners in this project will research the raw materials, pilot production, general product specifications(Oleon) and applications for cosmetics (Gova) and feed (Nutrition Sciences).

Approved on: 18/06/2015
Duration: 01/09/2015 – 31/08/2018
Total project budget: EUR 1.119.003
Partners: gova Logo-Nutrition-Sciences-300x115 VITO logo blends


Flame Retardants for optimal plastic applications


A fire hazard occurs when the appropriate conditions are present; a combustible material, oxygen and an ignition source. Plastics have the property that they burn easily, reach high temperatures during combustion and toxic gases are released during combustion. It’s mainly these toxic products that cause fatalities. The most common cause of death by fire, is the release and inhalation of carbon monoxide (CO). Every year, more than 5,000 people die in fires in Europe and more than 4,000 in the United States.

So it is ‘vital’ that the Flemish plastics industry pays attention to this danger, the rules, the incorporation of flame retardants in plastics and the various new technologies that are available for this purpose. In the near future, it will be more and more important to tune the used flame retardant technology to the (plastics)application or product. And as it is with many critical applications, are the requirements, standards and testing becoming increasingly stringent.

Intrinsic flame retardant plastics, plastics in which flame retardant additives are incorporated or that have flame retardant coatings, have a wide range of applications in very different domains, such as electricity, transportation and automotive, foam systems and interior. They work in different ways and in this study we want to list the different possibilities, with emphasis on the latest technologies and features. The advantages and disadvantages of the technologies will be clearly stated and also the economic and regulatory aspects will be taken into account.

The objectives of this feasibility study are:

  • to make an inventory of the available flame retardants, synergistic effects and their usefulness for plastics (processing) companies
  • to make an inventory of the recent research landscape (patent search) to also take into account the latest techniques (the so-called state-of-the-art)
  • to make an inventory of and understand the regional and European regulations, environmental legislation and toxicology
  • to develop a methodology for Flemish companies to help them understand the latest regulations and to have their products comply with these requirements

The study will apply to different products (thermoplastics, thermosets, rubbers) and processing techniques (eg, compounding, injection molding, extrusion, thermoforming). The feasibility study can be followed by one or more follow-up projects to develop new flame-retarding materials or techniques or to implement new techniques within plastic processing companies.

Project information
Project type: VIS project
Approved on: 20/11/2014
Duration: 01/01/2015 – 30/10/2015
Total project budget: EUR 90.357
Subsidy: EUR 72.287
Partners: FPV_divisionFISCH centexbel associatie UGent


Feasibility study for lignin recovery using residual heat


This R&D feasibility study will examine whether the lignin-rich wastewater from a paper producer can be purified so that the lignin can be used as feedstock for bio-based chemicals, and so that the purified water can be used for the production of boiler water. In this study both the technical and economic feasibility will be investigated.

Project information
Project type: R&D Feasibility study
Approved on: 04/06/2014
Duration: 01/04/2014 – 31/12/2014
Total project budget: EUR 108.723
Subsidy: EUR 40.822
Partners: Purazur Sappi


Research on the relationship between the health of bee populations and several potential explanatory variables in a spatially explicit way for Belgium



With this study we want to investigate the possible causal relationships between bee mortality and present explanatory variables of natural or anthropogenic character, and this in a spatially explicit way. The research will be conducted through a GIS analysis (Geographical Information System). The goal is to bring scientific clarity about the causes of the increased bee mortality in Belgium, so in the next step appropriate solutions can be sought. Several chemical companies, in the crop protection sector and the pharmaceutical industry, the machine industry and the biotechnology sector, are interested to contribute innovative developments to improve bee health. But first, there must be clarity about the contribution of various factors to the bee problem. Based on these results, an innovation plan will be developed for this broad audience.


Bees are producers of honey, but even more important, they play an essential role in maintaining good biodiversity because they are one of the most important pollinators of many plant species. For example, 80% of all pollination activity is due to bees (source: European Commission). However, all around the world, an increased mortality is found in the bee populations (both honeybees and wild bees in). Bee-experts, scientists and governments from around the world agree that several factors are responsible for the high mortality of bees. The problems with bees can be assigned to diseases and parasites (especially the Varroa mite), extraordinary environmental and climatic conditions such as air pollution and electromagnetic radiation, reduced food supply and reduced nesting, but also agriculture (the use of pesticides) and beekeeping practices. At present there is no scientific consensus on the extent to which the various factors described above contribute to bee mortality. Some researchers point especially to the Varroa mite as the main cause, while other researchers point directly to the plant protection. Still other researchers suggest synergistic and combination effects between the different aspects.

Project information
Project type: VIS Feasability study
Approved on: 19/12/2013
Total project budget: EUR 149.506
Subsidy: EUR 119.604
Partners: phytophar
VITO logo blendsassociatie UGent


PU insulation Recycling (PURE): Study of the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of the recycling of construction, demolition and production waste


Polyurethane foam has been widely used as efficient insulation material in construction for many years. Yard waste and demolition waste end up in the containers with mixed constructionwaste, and after sorting are incinerated with energy recovery. The amount of polyurethane foam scrap from construction yards is still relatively small, but the volume will grow strongly in the coming years.
The PURE project will research recycling techniques for a more high-quality recovery of polyurethane foam insulation in a ‘Closing the Closest Loop’ concept. The techniques should be technically and economically feasible, but also ecologically meaningful. Recticel, Unilin and Vanheede Environmental Logistics work together on this project.

Project type: R&D Feasiblity study
Approved on: 28/05/2014
Duration: 01/09/2014 – 31/08/2015
Total project budget: EUR 201.490
Subsidy: EUR 80.596
Partners: partners


Sustainable synthesis of branched alcohols from bio-based raw materials


Project information BIOVERTOL 1
Project type: ICON
Approved on: 17/10/2013
Total project budget: EUR 1.622.095
Subsidy: EUR 1.102.083
Project information BIOVERTOL 2
Project type: ICON
Approved on: 19/11/2015
Duration: 01/01/2016 – 31/12/2017
Total project budget: EUR 1.114.452
Subsidy: EUR 753.777


Demonstration cultivation of Spirulina in the greenhouse sector


In this project we want to grow the micro-algae Spirulina on demonstration scale (200 m²) in vacant greenhouses that were previously intended for the azalea cultivation. The small-scale, artisanal way, in which sometimes Spirulina is already grown in France, will be optimized and professionalized using the know-how from the Flemish tomatoes cultivation. A number of non-technical and automation parameters will be optimized to annual yield, product quality and cost per kg of product. This concerns control, lighting, heating, harvest, recirculation, first processing and preservation. Besides optimizing the production demo scale, the market potential in the food sector will also be briefly examined.

Project information
Project type: SME Feasability study
Approved on: 19/12/2013
Total project budget: EUR 45.436
Subsidy: EUR 22.719
Partners: AnKo Projects, Plant Projects BVBA, DE ROMAANSE POORT BVBA, Gekruid