EthaNa Kick-Off Meeting

Press release /

The kick-off meeting on 25.09.2017 in Leuna kicks off the project "Piloting ethanolic native extraction of hulled rapeseed" (EthaNa), coordinated by Fraunhofer CBP and the industrial partner B + B engineering GmbH.

"All partners are aware of the importance of EthaNa. The project is considered groundbreaking for the technological development of the oilseed industry", explains Daniela Pufky-Heinrich, head of coordination.

During the meeting, the ambitious project goals were further specified and the procedure agreed between all project partners. In addition, a detailed timetable for the construction of the pilot plant was developed and discussed. Finally, a visit was made to the pilot plant at the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes, where the pilot plant will be set up over the next few years.

To improve the efficiency of rapeseed processing, researchers from the Fraunhofer CBP and B + B Engineering GmbH have been working on the process concept since 2013 and have developed basic process parameters. The EthaNa process describes the ethanolic native extraction of oil seeds for the simultaneous production of high-quality rapeseed oil, protein-rich extraction residue and high-priced recyclable materials, such as sinapinic acid, tocopherols or glycosinolates.

Rapeseed processing currently takes place exclusively in traditional oil mills, consisting of pressing and hexane extraction, whereby rapeseed oil is the value-determining product. Rapeseed or rapeseed cake is marketed as another major product in the form of conventional feeds of limited use. On this basis, there is hardly any potential for improving the efficiency of rapeseed processing in conventional oil mills. Alternative oil extraction processes have been the subject of research and development for many years. However, despite their successes, many of the studies were not scaled up to industrial scale because no significant economic benefits were expected over traditional technology.

The novel cell disruption method in combination with direct alcoholic extraction investigated in this project is promising. Preliminary work at CBP already shows the relevance and enormous potential.

Partners in the oilseed processing industry, apparatus and plant engineering, and technology marketing work together with CBP and other research organizations in the project, which will run until September 2020, to develop and pilot pilot processes. First process units are scheduled to go into operation in autumn 2018. The first product samples of rapeseed oil and core concentrate are planned for the end of 2019. Sample quantities in the 100 kg to t scale should first be used for further investigations and evaluation of the product fraction in the food and feed industry. The project volume amounts to 5.3 million euros.