The Africa Platform coordinates and unites the rich experience from UGent’s Africa research and development activities, and is involved in numerous scientific and cultural activities

prof. dr. ir. Patrick Van Damme

prof. dr. ir. Rabaey Korneel

An innovative approach that allows a direct extraction of high value acids. The caproic acid harvested can even replace antibiotics in animal fodder.

Biological conversion of biomass can deliver high value carboxylates such as acetic acid and caproic acid. However, these compounds are usually produced at low concentration, which makes extraction uneconomic. We have developed an innovative approach that allows direct extraction of these compounds even enabling an upgrade to e.g. esters. The  caproic acid harvested can for example be used as replacement of antibiotics in animal fodder.

Our approach creates new opportunities to valorise biomass by optimising the production of molecules that are in demand by the market. Particularly the first stage outcome, caproic acid, is of considerable interest for use as green antibiotic.