Crystallizing sugars by means of an anti-solvent
Innovative and sustainable process for crystallizing sugars extracts more product, of higher purity, in fewer steps.
Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research has developed a completely new innovative and sustainable process for crystallizing different sugars by means of an antisolvent. This new innovative process extracts more product that has a higher purity in fewer process steps. The feasibility of the process has been proven on a laboratory scale and can be applied to a range of raw materials and residual flows, such as sugar beets (sucrose), milk (lactose), sugar cane and sugar palm (sucrose), fruit juice (fructose) and pulp, endive, grass, etc. (rhamnose, arabinose, inulin and fructose).
Since 2014, Wageningen UR and IPSS Engineering have been working together in this field in a number of projects. Goal of the current project is to build the first pilot installation for the ProKris technology by the end of this year. IPSS Engineering will realize the pilot installation in their Technohal, which is situated in the Plus Ultra building on the Wageningen UR Campus.
The new exiting technology (ProKris) is based on the use of anti-solvents for the separation process, a very effective and cost efficient way to isolate valuable components from complex mixtures.
The tests in the pilot installation are not solely focused on the implementation of the anti-solvent crystallization process but also on the mass and energy balance and integration. This will allow IPSS to illustrate the market potential by generating a business model. For the market implementation IPSS is not only looking at the food market, but also at the chemical branch where sugar becomes a raw material more and more.
The process enables sugar extraction from various feedstocks, while using much less energy than traditional sugar extraction techniques. The main benefits of the technology are the energy efficiency, the easy scalable technology and the possible use of various sugar containing feedstocks. The focus will be on niches in the European sugar market. These include countries and regions currently not producing sugar, organically produced sugar and opportunity driven unit sales.
IPSS has already been approached by several launching customers from Europe (Ireland, Germany, Portugal) and abroad (e.g. Canada). The customer’s interest is in the small scale technology for their own producing facilities as well as in buying a ProKris stand-alone small scale sugar installation to start growing sugar beets in their country.
To manage all activities and potential launching customers IPSS has, together with their project partner Clean Tech Innovations (CTI), established a new entity called ProKris Technologies. More information about the project and the technology is on www.prokris.nl.