Fractionation Wageningen

Biomass fractionation

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research develops viable routes for the production of food ingredients, sustainable materials and chemicals from biomass. For this, we develop new mild separation and fractionation concepts and design technological processes that aim at high-quality products.

We focus on pretreatment, purification and advanced process modelling. Examples of our work are:

  • We help companies to increase their efficiency of raw materials use, to improve product yields and quality, and to reduce waste and energy use. Products range from food ingredients and fiber-based materials to chemical intermediates.
  • We use mechanical, enzymatical and chemical processes to free fibres in plants. This can make industry less dependent on wood and cotton as raw materials for fibers and cellulose. Our experience with textile, composites, board and paper enables us to select the best combinations of raw material, process and end products.
  • We develop processes for recovery of plant protein via wet or dry separation. Wet separation can yield relatively pure protein, while dry separation is used to deliver protein fractions more sustainably. These fractions contain less protein but can still be functional in food products.
  • We focus on chromatography and membrane-based separations in agro, food and bio-process industry. For the industry, we develop separation technology to separate and fractionate functional ingredients and to remove unwanted components.

Frontrunner in biomass fractionation

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is leading in the market thanks to our:

Knowledge and experience

We have extensive experience in biomass and biomass processing. We are experts in structure-function relationships, and in the analysis and characterization of biomass. Nowadays, we maintain and strengthen this knowledge by collaborations within Wageningen University & Research and participation in EU projects and public-private partnerships.

Extensive toolbox for (mild) processing

We always aim for the best solution, regardless of what technology is needed. However, we always keep developing new tools to remain a frontrunner. Examples are our current developments in biomass disclosure using fungi, electrostatic separation, clean technologies using steam, and mild drying technologies.

Innovative and creative approach

We strongly co-operate with industry to bring new developments to the market. Current co-operations are with Cosun on their Green Protein product, and with IPPS on a new anti-solvent crystallization concept for raw juice. We also develop proof-of-principles for new concepts. This can be in the extraction of specific high value components or in the fermentation of a new biomass source.


Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has facilities from laboratory scale, through bench-scale, up to pilot scale. We perform projects at research level and support development. We co-operate with pilot facilities at Delft and Gent for even further upscaling and have good contacts with specific technology providers.

Interested in the possibilities?

Contact us for an informal conversation.