Processing Underutilised Low value sugar beet Pulp into VALUE added products

Scope of the project

Sugar beet pulp (SBP) is a major residual stream from the sugar beet industry. It accounts for approx. 13 million tonnes annually in Europe and is currently valorised as low value feed and/or green gas.

PULP2VALUE aims to extract between 20 and 50 times more value from sugar beet pulp. To obtain this, multiple extraction techniques were developed to isolate more valuable products from the pulp. More than 60% of the dry matter mass can be isolated as high value products being: micro cellulose fibers, arabinose and galacturonic acid. These can be used as high value functional additives for non-food as well as food applications such as detergents, personla care, oil & gas, paints & coatings, composites…

Throughout the years project coordinator Cosun already identified multiple value chains for these products which will be further developed towards the market. This is done by demonstrating and optimizing an integrated and cost-effective cascading system. The lessons learnt at the Cosun pilot facility, where state-of-the-art unit operations were tested, will be used to optimize, integrate and scale-up these processes to a demonstration scale. A transdisciplinary, cross sectoral technology approach will be implemented and demonstrated to integrate the different parts of this process into a functioning demonstration chain (200-600 tonnes of Sugar beet pulp/year) that meets the requirements in terms of cost and environmental impact.

PULP2VALUE will target 9 new value chains resulting in a market potential of at least 350.000 tons and a potential revenue of 200 million euro. The PULP2VALUE project makes available a mild and environmentally friendly biorefinery process for beet pulp. It will spur rural development in sugar beet growing areas by connecting them in new cross-sectoral value chains with various industries, including the chemical and food industry.


ACTIVITIES of Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant

  • Address technological hurdles (at pilot scale) during and after the scale-up to demonstration scale. Practical problem solving approach towards technological problems during the construction and operation of the demo facilities.
  • Test and optimize, at a pilot scale, different unit operations within the process routes (extraction, filtration, ion exchange, evaporation, membrane filtration, fermentation, crystallisation, drying…).
  • Validate the fully integrated process routes at pilot scale, comprising the purification of galacturonic acid and arabinose after extraction of micro cellulose fiber from the Sugar beet pulp stream.


  • Cosun, NL
  • Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig onderzoek, NL
  • Wageningen Universiteit, NL
  • Orineo, BE
  • Nova Institut, DE
  • Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, BE
  • Refresco Gerber, UK