DEMETER will increase the yield of the fermentation process at an industrial scale as well as the down-stream processing of a C1-based biogas enzyme, reducing the cost of the end product and making the enzyme available for wide-spread application in biogas production throughout Europe.

To efficiently convert biomass and agricultural, industrial and municipal waste into fermentable sugars, chemical building blocks or bio-based materials, enzymes play an indispensable role. However, currently available enzymes have not specifically been developed for biogas production and are evaluated by “trial and error”. Efficient enzyme-enabled biomass conversion requires the availability of enzymes that have proven to be effective in practice and can be produced at an industrial scale.

Genencor International BV has recently developed a new enzyme product, derived from Myceliophthora thermophila C1, that in recent field trials has shown a promising 10% cost-reduction in the production of biogas from organic waste. Although the efficacy of the enzyme has clearly been shown, the current fermentation process does not provide sufficient yield in industrial production to be cost-effective for large-scale application.

The objective of DEMETER is to increase the yield of this industrial fermentation process by at least 20%, improve the product recovery process by 40%, and reduce overall product cost by at least 15% while increasing the productivity of the process. In addition, DEMETER will demonstrate the efficacy of the enzyme in 8 field trials in biogas plants throughout Europe.

Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant in DEMETER

DEMETER follows a multi-scale approach.

  • First, the enzyme productivity will be improved on lab- and small pilot-scale, while obtaining insights for further scale-up.
  • In parallel, the effect of enzymes on biogas yield will be quantified, using 5 commonly used biomass substrates.
  • The improved fermentation and downstream process will be scaled up and demonstrated in a 15 000 L pilot plant.
  • Finally, the improvement of the biogas production process due to the use of the enzyme will be demonstrated in practice in 8 field trials.
  • The results of these field trials will be fed back to further improve the production process and its yield.

More information:

ACTIVITIES of Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant

In this project, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is active in:

  • Enzyme Recovery Improvement: BBEPP will assist in optimizing the downstream process to improve the recovery of the enzyme.
  • Demonstration phase: BBEPP will scale up and demonstrate the process on 15 m3 scale.


DEMETER is a project funded by the European Commission. It has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under Grant Agreement n° 720714.