Bring your innovative biobased process or product to the next scale.
A unique pilot facility for process development, scale-up and custom manufacturing of innovative biobased products and processes.
Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is an independent, state-of-the-art facility that operates from a laboratory level to a multi-ton scale. Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is a service provider for process development, scale-up and custom manufacturing of biobased products and processes. A wide and flexible spectrum of modular unit operations combined with the experience of our highly competent engineers and technicians enables us to translate your biobased lab protocol into a viable industrial process.
Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant enables the conversion of renewable feedstocks into biochemicals, biomaterials, biofuels and other bioproducts by using technologies such as biomass pretreatment, biocatalysis, (gas)fermentation, green chemistry and product recovery and purification.
Since its establishment in 2008, the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant has grown into a mature organisation employing 140+ dynamic and engaged staff members. From 2013 to 2020, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant successfully conducted more than 450 bilateral (private) projects with over 150 different small, medium and large sized companies. Along with private, bilateral projects, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is currently involved in many consortium-based projects.
Since its establishment in 2008, the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant has grown into a mature organisation employing 140+ dynamic and engaged staff members. Check out our most important milestones in the timeline below. An overview of infrastructure investments can be seen in the animated video on top of the timeline.
Start of the INTERREG VL-NL Project: "Bio Base Europe"
The INTERREG Flanders-Netherlands project “Bio Base Europe” kicks off. The budget foresees in € 13M for the conversion of an old fire station into a state-of-the-art pilot facility.
On Flemish side the project was co-financed by Flanders, the Province of East-Flanders and the City of Ghent. On Dutch side, the project was co-financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Province of “Zeeland”, Zeeland Seaports, ROC Westerschelde and Delta NV.
Staff count by the end of 2008: 3
Inauguration of the first process hall dedicated to biomass pretreatment and biocatalysis
Two years after the start of the construction works, BBEPP inaugurates its first process hall, the “red” hall, dedicated to biomass pretreatment and biocatalysis.
Staff count by the end of 2010: 20
Inauguration of the second process hall dedicated to fermentation and downstream processing
Three years after the start of the construction works, BBEPP inaugurates its second process hall, the “white” hall, dedicated to fermentation and downstream processing.
Staff count by the end of 2011: 22
Inauguration of the third process hall dedicated to biomass green chemistry and ATEX proof processing
By the end of 2012, the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant inaugurates its third process hall, the “green” hall, dedicated to green chemistry and ATEX proof processing.
Staff count by the end of 2012: 26
Fully operational and immediately "break-even"
After five years of construction, as of 2013, the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is fully operational. This immediately results in a “break-even” at the end of the year.
In 2013, BBEPP also runs its first 4.5m3 fermentation.
Staff count by the end of 2013: 32
Multi KET Demonstrator Pilot Line
In January 2014, the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant was selected by the European Commission as a demonstrator multi-KET pilot line. KETs or Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are considered to directly or indirectly stimulate Europe’s competitiveness and generate jobs, growth and wealth in the economy. Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is and has always been a European front runner in terms of industrial biotechnology, one of the six European KETs.
Staff count by the end of 2014: 37
Expansion of the fermentation capacity & Celebration 5 years BBEPP
In 2015, the fermentation scale and capacity is substantially expanded through the installation of two 1,500L and two 15,000L fermenters. One 15,000L fermentation line is co-financed by Interreg NWE; the other one by the European Regional Development Fund.
The new installation is inaugurated during the “5 years BBEPP” Event in June 2015.
Staff count by the end of 2015: 39
First 15 m3 run; First Food Grade run
In 2015 Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant successfully executes its first 15m3 run as well as its first successful food grade run under the Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC 22000).
Staff count by the end of 2016: 46
Construction of a new process hall. Investment in equipment for large scale DSP and gasfermentation.
In 2017, with the support from the IMPACT project, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant starts the construction of a new process hall, including a media preparation and a spray dryer room. Furthermore, the IMPACT project invests in large scale downstream processing equipment and gasfermentation equipment.
An investment of roughly 9.4 M€, co-funded through the ERDF project “IMPACT” by the European Regional Development Fund, Flanders, The Province of East-Flanders and the City of Ghent.
Start of the Pilots4U Network
In April the development of the Pilots4U Database and Network kicks off under the coordination of the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant and funded under a CSA project within H2020-BBI-JU. Until today, BBEPP coordinates this European network of open access pilot and demonstration facilities.
More info: https://biopilots4u.eu/
Bio Base NWE wins REGIOSTAR AWARDS
The Bio Base NWE project, coordinated by Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant from 2013 to 2015, won the RegioStars Award 2017 in the category ‘Smart Specialisation for SME Innovation‘. The winners of the RegioStars Awards 2017 were announced during a ceremony on October 10th, in the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels.
Staff count by end 2017: 69
Inauguration IMPACT process hall for large DSP equipment
On February 19th, 2018, Minister Philippe Muyters inaugurates a new process hall for large downstream processing (DSP) equipment.
This process hall was built within “IMPACT”, an investment project for a total amount of €9,36 million and financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Flanders, the Province of East-Flanders, the City of Ghent and the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. The financing was used to build up infrastructure specifically for gas fermentation and Downstream Processing.
Staff count by end 2018: 75
Fermentation capacity raised by 6 x 150 L
In 2019, six extra 150 L fermenters become operational.
Staff count by end 2019: 84
Start of the Bio Base FLOW investment project
Bio Base FLOW foresees in new tech transfer pilot equipment for industrial biotechnology and green chemistry. Furthermore, the project will also invest in partner hubs and project management rooms with integrated process control infrastructure.
Bio Base FLOW is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO, Hermesfonds).
SmartPilots and Pilots4U Final Event @ the European Commission
SmartPilots, an INTERREG Europe project coordinated by BBEPP, brought together the six leading European Shared Pilot Facilities in the field of bio-economy and their regional authorities with the aim to improve (regional) policies in support of shared pilot facilities. On February 4th, 2020, the consortium presented its policy recommendations (summarized in the video below) to the European Commission and European Parliament.
The Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant counts 100 staff members!
In September 2020 we welcomed our HUNDREDTH staff members: Janne as a Bioprocess Technician and Arthur as Bioprocess Engineer. Welcome!
Staff count by end 2020: 103
Installation of 565 solar panels
In 2021, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant installed 565 solar panels on the roof of its process halls. The solar panels occupy a total surface of 1230 m² and generate approximately 200 Mwh/year, covering about one tenth of BBEPP’s total energy consumption.
Staff count by end 2021: 130
Announcement of BBEPP's first spin-off company: Amphi-Star
In July 2021, BBEPP announces the establishment of its first spin-off company: Amphi-Star. Amphi-Star is developing a proprietary technology platform for the ecological production of biosurfactants (amphiphilic molecules). The platform is initially based on the glycolipid technology platform with the yeast Starmerella bombicola, that has been developed and scaled up in over 10 years by Ghent University (InBio research group) and the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BBEPP).
Amphi-Star has the mission to develop, scale up and demonstrate biosurfactant technology at industrially relevant level.
More information: https://amphi-star.be/
Announcement of the establishment of the Bio Base Asia Pilot Plant
On April 22nd, 2022, during an online webinar, the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) in Thailand announced their 50/50 Joint Venture to establish the Bio Base Asia Pilot Plant.
The webinar revealed topics such as: Where the Bio Base Asia Pilot Plant is located, how and by when it will be operated, what services and technologies it will offer … and … particpants could even take a look inside the brand new facilities.
The webinar can be (re)watched using the following link: https://www.bohezproductions.com/bbapp-live.
A Team of experienced engineers and technicians that can always find a safe and workable approach
At Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, your processes are in the competent hands of highly trained engineers and bioprocess technicians. Our team stands for a vast amount of know-how on both a scientific and technical level. Combined with decades of experience in scale-up and operating industrial equipment, our engineers translate your lab scale process into a viable industrial process.
The Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant team provides services to customers in full confidentiality. We run the innovative processes, feasibility trials and process optimizations in agreement with our customers’ demands and report in a transparent way. A close communication throughout the project and your presence at our facilities during the pilot trials ensures a seamless technology transfer in both directions.
In addition, our engineers and process operators can assist in experimental set-up, process analysis and design, calculation of mass balances, and provide start-up assistance at an industrial scale.