IMPRESS is here to impress! We are heading towards a fossil-free future with the European know-how. IMPRESS will integrate selected key technologies to refine plant-based material into multiple sustainable chemicals and materials that can replace fossil-based products. Related technologies will be substantially improved in order to provide a better future for both us today and the generations to come.
IMPRESS will create a new hybrid biorefinery process. It means that we will research and combine selected key technologies and use them to refine renewable resources such as forestry and agricultural residues into multiple sustainable chemicals and materials that can replace fossil-based products.
The aim is to find ways to produce sustainable chemicals and materials.
IMPRESS integrates disruptive upstream and downstream technologies developed by the project partners. IMPRESS concept uses 2nd generation biomass and turns process streams into value added products and green chemicals to replace existing fossil-based products.
Benefits of the IMPRESS concept:
The IMPRESS consortium consists of 10 leading European companies as well as research, development and educational organisations.
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The overall objective is to create a value chain starting from non-edible biomass to renewable chemicals and materials that meet both economic and sustainability criteria.
Project has identified five key objects that are described below:
Objective 1: Develop separation, purification and analytical test methods for Dawn upstream process and integrate them to the IMPRESS demonstration scale process
Objective 2: Develop and upscale modular downstream processes including different separation and purification methods and integrate them to the IMPRESS demonstration scale process
Objective 3: To execute a conceptual process design (CPD), and to prepare an environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) specific for the integrated process
Objective 4: Validate the IMPRESS concept by integrating the upstream and downstream processes
Objective 5: Disseminate the IMPRESS results and benefits of the project concept to relevant stakeholders
The IMPRESS project is structured around seven Work Packages:
WP 1: Intensification of the IMPRESS upstream technology (Dawn Technology)
WP 2: Integration of the glycols downstream processing (Ray Technology)
WP 3: Valorisation of mixed sugar (C5/C6) and lignin streams
WP 4: Conceptual Process Design
WP 5: Life Cycle Analysis
WP 6: Dissemination, communication, education and exploitation
WP7 : Management
IMPRESS is a novel concept that aims to assess multiple purification and separation technologies that are used to develop plant-based products with an improved carbon footprint. The concept will be thoroughly evaluated from a techno-economic and environmental perspective. This is carried out by means of executing a life cycle assessment and the completion of conceptual process designs in order to demonstrate the positive impact on circular economy.
The biorefinery concept is based on the efficient integration of proven purification and separation technologies, such as crystallisation, membrane filtration, SMB and adsorption to optimise the quality of all product streams. The key conversion processes included in the concept are the Dawn Technology™, Ray Technology™ and xylitol fermentation technology.
Dawn Technology™ (more information https://www.avantium.com/technologies/dawn/)
Ray Technology™ (more information https://www.avantium.com/technologies/ray/)
Xylitol Production Technology is based on aeration controlled aerobic fermentation process that converts hemicellulose sugars to xylitol.
Fodder Yeast Production Technology is also an aerobic fermentation process that converts hemicellulose sugars to fodder yeast that can be used as animal feed.
Sustainable plant-based building blocks, such as:
plantMEG™ (Monoethylene Glycol)
is an important constituent of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), the raw material of plastic bottles and containers. Ray Technology based plantMEG™ will be a drop-in solution for existing fossil-MEG applications.
plant MPG (Monopropylene Glycol)
e.g. for the production of functional fluids, Unsaturated Polyester Resins (UPR) and food/feed/pharmaceutical applications
End product applications, like wood adhesives, composites or as dispersants, are assessed during the project
e.g. can be used to purify water, air and various other streams within the IMPRESS concept
Confectionary (chewing gums and mints), Dental / personal care (toothpaste) and pharmaceutical markets
e.g. to produce vitamin C and as a bulking agent, humectant and sweetener in foods, beverages and oral care products without promoting tooth decay
e.g. can be used as an additive to give a better heat resistance to PET
At present the light ends produced in the process are burned in a flare. In this project the feasibility to produce sugar alcohols from the light ends will be tested.
Demonstration plants at the Chemical Park Delfzijl, the Netherlands
The Dawn Technology™ pilot biorefinery
The Ray Technology™ demonstration plant (mono-ethylene glycol, MEG)
FiberLaboratory in Savonlinna, Finland
(more information https://www.xamk.fi/en/rdi/fiberlaboratory/)
IMPRESS consortium consists of ten industry and academic organizations across Europe. Avantium leads the research programme.
Avantium, the Netherlands
Avantium is a pioneer in the emerging industry of renewable and sustainable chemistry. We seek to take part in the opportunities of the transition towards a circular economy, with the goal of creating value for our stakeholders and society as a whole. Avantium’s mission is to aid the transition to a fossil-free world by developing groundbreaking products on the basis of renewable feedstock instead of fossil resources. Sustainable alternatives for fossil-based chemicals and materials include plastic bottles for drinks, films for food packaging and electronics, fibers for textiles and even material used in toys.
Role in IMPRESS: Avantium is the coordinator of the project and aims to accelerate its Dawn and Ray Technologies in addition to utilising its expertise in catalysis.
Sulzer Chemtech, a division of Sulzer Ltd, offers innovative separation and mixing technology, process solutions, and field services for the oil and gas, hydrocarbon, and chemical processing industry. Sulzer’s advanced and economical solutions set standards in the field of mass transfer and static mixing. Sulzer’s portfolio includes state-of-the-art products for distillation, absorption, stripping, evaporation, phase separation, melt crystallisation, and liquid-liquid extraction.
Role in IMPRESS: Sulzer is a global leader in fluid engineering and brings its expertise for example in crystallisation to the project. Sulzer is the lead partner of WP2 Integration of the glycols downstream processing.
Knauer is a medium-sized, owner-managed company that has been serving the sciences since 1962. Knauer develops and manufactures scientific instruments of superior quality for liquid chromatography systems and components, including: Analytical HPLC / UHPLC, Preparative HPLC, Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (FPLC), Moving-Column Chromatography / Simulated Moving Bed (SMB), Osmometry. Besides the instrumentation, Knauer offers method development services for analytical and preparative purposes.
Role in IMPRESS: KNAUER uses its expertise to contribute in continuous separation technologies, such as Simulated Moving Bed (SMB) chromatography.
The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (French National Center for Scientific Research) is a public organisation for scientific and technological research and is under the authority of the French Ministry for Research. The CNRS is also the largest fundamental research organisation in Europe.
Role in IMPRESS: CNRS develops new nanoporous materials such as hydrophobe zeolites and Metal- Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for the challenging separation of short polyols.
Lenntech, the Netherlands
Lenntech provides water treatment solutions for all type of applications, from domestic equipment to industrial turnkey plants. It was created in 1993 as a spin-off of Delft Technical University. The company team is set by an experienced team of chemical, environmental, mechanical and electrical engineers who can offer a wide variety of solutions for industries that require certain water qualities. Lenntech’s experience on the supply of a wide range of technologies and extended know-how in all water related sectors, guarantees a cost-efficient solution that will meet water quality requirements.
Role in IMPRESS: Lenntech will dehydrate the sugar streams in IMPRESS. Activities include a series of laboratory tests, choosing of the most suitable technology and developing an on-site pilot. Lenntech is the lead partner of WP 1 Intensification of the IMPRESS upstream technology.
Vogelbusch Biocommodities GmbH is part of the Vogelbusch group, a privately held engineering firm based in Austria since 1921. Specializing in white biotechnology, the company designs and constructs bioprocess plants on a global basis, with proprietary technology for the production of biocommodities such as alcohol, yeast, vinegar, organic acids, and starch sugars. Company expertise includes the integration of biological production techniques with related downstream processes, including scale-up based on lab testing. Vogelbusch’s research and development activities respond to industry demands for more effective, less expensive manufacturing and the refining of technologies to improve yields, energy consumption and environmental performance. R&D work is carried out at modern, in-house laboratory and pilot scale facilities.
Role in IMPRESS: Vogelbusch will adapt and scale up two dedicated processes for the production of fodder yeast and the production of xylitol from hemicellulose hydrolysates by fermentation. Vogelbusch is the lead partner of WP 3 Valorisation of mixed sugar and lignin streams.
PDC, the Netherlands
Process Design Center (PDC) is a technology provider in process development and integration. It is a non-profit SME, which has the aim to develop and promote sustainable products, production processes, and related activities. With more than 30 years of experience, key expertise includes conceptual process design and integration, techno-economic evaluation, and improvement of energy & resource efficiency.
Role in IMPRESS: PDC leads the conceptual process design, technology integration and techno-economic assessment, using structured methods and expert systems (PROSYN®). PDC is the lead partner of WP 4 Conceptual Process Design.
Sphera creates a safer, more sustainable and productive world. Our innovative cloud-based risk management platform connects an unprecedented amount of information that leads to deeper insights across an enterprise. We operationalize, scale and optimize Integrated Risk Management strategies to help customers surface, manage, and mitigate risk in the areas of Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability, Operational Risk Management and Product Stewardship. Our mission is to create a safer, more sustainable and productive world by advancing operational excellence.
Role in IMPRESS: Sphera is a global leader in sustainability and LCA software and consulting, delivering relevant insights on environmental performance within IMPRESS. Sphera is the lead partner of WP5 Life Cycle Analysis.
Aalto University, Finland
Aalto University is a Finnish multidisciplinary university in the fields of science and technology, economics, architecture, and art and design. The School of Chemical Engineering (Aalto-CHEM) is one of the Aalto’s four schools of science and technology, with research areas related to new materials and sustainable processing of natural resources as well as products derived from these resources. The Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering has expertise in areas that enable a sustainable future with high performance products and processes in circular economy and bioeconomy, and The Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems is at the forefront of forest products technologies and cutting-edge biotechnology.
Role in IMPRESS: Aalto aims to develop separation processes for sugar alcohols and sugars by means of crystallisation, and conversion processes for woody biomass.
South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk) is an institute of higher education which focuses on wellbeing, technology and creative industries. Xamk has develop industrial process know how and new process concepts for forest industry cluster in FiberLaboratory. Process phenomena research and piloting activities have been spread to international markets in pulp washing, flash mixing, wastewater treatment and novel in-line processes. Wood biorefinery process research, piloting and education is key task in Xamk in Finland. E.g. wood extraction research by using continuous resource efficient process innovations is key development focus in the laboratory.
Role in IMPRESS: Xamk is responsible for the development and implementation of educational modules and the leader of communication and dissemination activities (WP6).
As an outcome, the IMPRESS concept will originate in order to produce renewable chemicals environmentally friendly and efficiently.
Effective dissemination of major innovation outcomes to the current and next generation of employees, through the development of learning resources with flexible usability.
Kati Jordan. 2021. Lessons learned - verkko-oppimateriaalin tuottamisen kehitysprosessi / Lessons learned - the development process of producing online learning material. METSÄ, YMPÄRISTÖ JA ENERGIA Soveltavaa tutkimusta ja tuotekehitystä Vuosijulkaisu 2021. https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-344-408-9
Noora Haatanen, Juha-Pekka Ontronen. 2021. Uusi biojalostuskonsepti uusiutuvien biopohjaisten kemikaalien ja materiaalin valmistukseen / New hybrid biorefinery process to produce sustainable chemicals and materials. METSÄ, YMPÄRISTÖ JA ENERGIA Soveltavaa tutkimusta ja tuotekehitystä Vuosijulkaisu 2021. https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-344-408-9
Noora Haatanen, Kati Jordan, Jarkko Männynsalo, Juha-Pekka Ontronen, Marjatta Louhi-Kultanen. 2020. Etäopetuskurssia rakentamassa biotalouden innovaatiohankkeen ympärille / Building an online learning course for the bioeconomy innovation project. METSÄ, YMPÄRISTÖ JA ENERGIA Soveltavaa tutkimusta ja tuotekehitystä Vuosijulkaisu 2020. https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-344-295-5
Noora Haatanen, Juha-Pekka Ontronen. 2020. Laaja biotalousyhteistyö johtaa kohti puhtaampaa tulevaisuutta. READ Research, Education and Regional Development, Kaakkois-Suomen ammattikorkeakoulun verkkolehti. https://read.xamk.fi/2020/metsa-ymparisto-ja-energia/laaja-biotalousyhteistyo-johtaa-kohti-puhtaampaa-tulevaisuutta/
Mathieu Lions, Cécile Daniel, Benoit Coasne, Frederic Meunier, Alain Tuel, and David Farrusseng. 2021. The Pivotal Role of Critical Hydroxyl Concentration in Si-Rich Zeolites for Switching Vapor Adsorption. Journal of Physical Chemistry C. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03420234/
The IMPRESS e-platform called the Future of Biorefining is an online learning environment that combines the main technologies applied in the IMPRESS project, their main advantages and project results.
The content is divided in three separate modules:
We shall start opening the course in parts as they are finished. You can find updated info regarding the opening dates from the news section.
Module 1: Separation and purification processes in biorefineries
Mass transfer – open in Q4 2021
Distillation – open in Q1 2022
Crystallization – open in Q2 2022
Adsorption – open in Q3 2022
Membrane technology – open in Q3 2022
Simulated moving bed – open in Q3 2022
Module 2: Process design and analysis
Conceptual process design – open in Q3 2022
Life cycle assessment – open in Q2 2022
Module 3: Conversion technologies
Dawn technology – open in Q4 2022
Ray technology – open in Q4 2022
Xylitol/Fodder yeast production – open in Q3 2022
Lignin nanospheres – open in Q3 2022
Lignin activated carbon – open in Q2 2022
The Future of Biorefining learning environment is free and open for everyone. You only need to sign in to get started. Here are step by step instructions on how to sign in.
Project Coordinator (Avantium):
Communication Manager (South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences):