Dr. Tim Grootscholten: “Bio-energy at Suiker Unie”

“Bio-energy at Suiker Unie”

Dr. Tim Grootscholten, Process Technologist Cosun

Royal Cosun is a cooperative of sugar beet farmers that processes several agricultural crops (mainly sugar beet and potato’s) into food products. For Suiker Unie, a subsidiary of Royal Cosun, the sugar beet is processed in predominantly sugar, molasses and sugar beet pulp. To utilize the complete potential of the sugar beet, Suiker Unie is always exploring opportunities to improve the value of the sugar beet. These opportunities can be present in food based products or non-food products. The circular economy plays an important role in exploring these new opportunities. In this presentation, bio-energy production at Suiker Unie is discussed in the form of bio-ethanol production from sugar and biogas production from sugar beet-tails and sugar beet pulp. The biogas production at Suiker Unie contributes to several circular economies. Besides carbon, recirculation of effective organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorous are also applied. During the presentation, some attention is also given to the production of specialty chemicals (marketed by Cosun Biobased Products) in combination with biogas production and nutrient recycling.