Avebe achieves substantial CO2 reduction and energy savings thanks to membrane filtration systems developed by Wafilin Systems B.V.

Avebe and Wafilin Systems B.V. have commenced the implementation of a Sustainable Concentration Potato Juice project using advanced membrane technology (DUCAM). The DUCAM membrane filtration system will be installed at the Avebe production plant in Ter Apelkanaal The Netherlands. The process will achieve substantial reduction in energy consumption as well as water savings, due to the recycling of potato water that can be re-used as process water. This innovative project was announced to the public by the stakeholders during the ‘European Water Tech Week 2018’ in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

Avebe invests in sustainability
Sustainability is a high priority for Avebe. One investment that has been made by the potato starch cooperative is a sustainable improvement of the production process. The extraction of potato proteins from potato juice in addition to the treatment of the potato juice, are normally energy intensive stages when processing starch potatoes. Avebe is looking to reduce the use of energy. Using membranes to thicken the potato juice has proven to be the perfect way to save costs, leading to CO2 reduction of approximately 13.000 tons per year. Additionally, there has been an identified saving of process water, as the membrane technology allows water from the potato to be used as process water.

Wafilin Systems B.V. shares Avebe’s ambitions
Mr. Erik Koops, Avebe’s Director of Investment Development & Portfolio Management pro-actively contacted Mr. Harry van Dalfsen, Technical Director of Wafilin Systems B.V. Wafilin Systems is an innovative company based at the WaterCampus in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands that is well-known for its groundbreaking expertise in the field of membrane filtration. Evidence of such expertise, was demonstrated in 2017, when Wafilin Systems B.V won the WIS Award (Water Alliance Innovation & Stimulation Award) for the innovation of ‘thickening milk’. Henk Schonewille, CEO of Wafilin Systems B.V. says: ‘We develop unique and efficient membrane filtration solutions for the world of tomorrow’’. This Dutch company is leader in the field. The extensive discussions between the project stakeholders led to this exciting collaboration.

Sustainable Concentration of Potato Juice with Membranes
A research pilot project commenced in 2014 using membrane technology to thicken potato juice. The collected research was a part of the SNN project Duurzaam en kostenefficiënt productieproces voor zetmeel (derivaten) (Sustainable and cost-efficient production process for starch (derivates). A feasibility study on the potential of a full-scale installation resulted in final approval for the DUCAM project. The project is expected to be operational in the second half of 2019.

 Cooperation with Topsector Energie
The DUCAM project is implementing energy-saving technology that has been integrated within Avebe’s existing production process. The invention, that saves energy in addition to the extraction of valuable raw materials from potatoes, is partly financed by the DEI scheme (Demonstration Energy Innovation), a part of the Topsector Energie.

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