Separating and purifying wet residual streams

From food and energy to the chemical industry, companies in all sectors are looking for opportunities to introduce biobased products, materials and building blocks onto the market. The high costs of product reprocessing and water treatment (downstream processing) are often a bottleneck, however. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research integrates current and new technologies that separate and purify valuable components from biomass in an economically viable way.

Effective separation and purification

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has the expertise to effectively separate components and make residual streams as pure as possible. Our solutions are based on applying a combination of technologies to separate, concentrate and purify products, whether they are liquid, solid or gas. We find the best combination of techniques for every problem or develop new solutions in close collaboration with our partners. 

Cost-efficient separation and purification

Our process for product upcycling and water treatment consists of three stages:

Below is an overview of the technologies we apply categorised by expertise. The technologies are widely applicable and can be combined with fermentation or enzymatic conversions.

Gas separation Membrane technology, adsorption, absorption, stripping, selective gas transfer, controlled atmosphere (humidity, CO2 etc.), recovering aromas.
Liquid separation (Hybrid) membrane technologies (distillation, extraction, absorption, etc.), (anti-solvent) crystallisation/precipitation, chromatography, electro-membrane separation, stabilisation of liquids to prevent decay, dewatering and emulsion breakage.
Dry separation Grinding, sifting, wind sifting, electrostatic separation.
Electrochemical separation Electrodialysis, capacitive de-ionisation, electro-membrane separation, electrochemical production of oxidation chemicals.
Extraction Solid, liquid and reactive extraction (with or without membranes).
Drying processes Steam drying, adsorptive drying, freeze-drying, mild drying.

Competitive, modularly applicable solutions

The broad range of our expertise makes Wageningen University & Research a world leader in its fields. Our experts in separation and purification work closely with specialists in adjoining areas such as bioconversion, sustainable chemistry and biorefinery. As a result, we can offer our industrial partners competitive, modularly applicable solutions for the entire process from raw material to end product. Not only do we develop new technologies and processes, we also perform technical, economic and environmental impact studies and feasibility research to help partners upscale and implement new processes and close material and energy cycles.