Sugar-Based Chemicals and Polymers through Innovative Chemocatalysis and Engineered Yeast

Cancellation of the EU sugar quota as of October 1th 2017 will have important consequences for European sugar producers, not at least in terms of the evolution of sugar prices towards prices on the global market. Together with the disappearance of export limitations, this will lead to new opportunities for sugar as feedstock for production of chemicals and materials. Market analysts also expect an increase of EU sucrose and glucose syrup production.

The SPICY project aims to provide the chemical industry with new or optimized processes to convert sugars into added value compounds, i.e. both drop-ins and novel biobased chemicals (see figure below). Two complementary lines are hereto developed in parallel, one focusing on biotechnology based on improved yeast-strains and one based on chemocatalytic routes. Both will aspire to meet industrial standards of productivity, titer, yield and selectivity, to safeguard potential economic benefit and future industrial valorisation. Most of the targeted platform chemicals are (potential) monomers for biobased plastics, hence, a second aim of SPICY is to deliver proof-of-concept of their usefulness by targeting novel and functional polymeric materials, typically not found in the current oil-based value chain.

The project has the ambition to strengthen the position of Flanders in terms of research into biobased processes and materials. The relevance of this project is further emphasized by an industrial advisory board eager to implement the results and create economic valorisation. Current members of the advisory board include: 3M, Allnex, Beaulieu, Cargill, Eastman, EOC, Galactic, GF Biochemicals, GlobalYeast, INEOS Styrolution, Proviron, Solvay, Tereos and Tiense Suiker.

Project Details
Project type: cSBO
Approved on: 14/12/2017
Duration: 01/02/2018 – 30/07/2022
Total budget: €2.526.011
Subsidy: €2.526.011
Project Partners

Questions about this project? Please contact catalyst Aron Deneyer (adeneyer@catalisti.be).