DISCO – Downstream ISolation of high-value COmponents

  • Status
  • Start date
    April 1, 2022
  • Runtime
    30 months
  • Contact
    Nathan Bowden
  • Project leader
  • Chris Dotremont
  • FrieslandCampina

The Downstream ISolation of high-value Components (DISCO) project aims to lower the material use and increase the energy-efficiency of production trains at industrial end-users, resulting in a significantly lower CO2 footprint.


The CO2 footprint of the downstream separation technologies at FrieslandCampina, Corbion, Biota, Shell and Recell Group can be significantly lowered by using innovative technologies. Current production trains at these end-users produce a lot of material waste and use a lot of solvents (including water) which then must be purified or recovered. These purification and recovery steps in turn also use a lot of energy and materials. The motivation of the Downstream ISolation of high-value Components (DISCO) project is to improve this. We will evaluate current production trains and develop innovative production trains by using cutting edge, tailor-made technologies. The technologies used in these (new) production trains include nanofiltration (NF) membranes, electrodialysis (ED), ion exchange columns (IEX) and CO2 switch. The insights gained from the experimental testing will be used to improve the technologies in order to offer scaling-up of next generation technologies. Furthermore, a techno-economic tool and computer modelling of the production trains will find the most efficient design.


The objective of this 2.5-year project is to increase the energy efficiency of production and lower material use of the process trains at the end-users FrieslandCampina, Recell Group, Biota, Shell and Corbion.

Activities & Results

For each of the end-users innovative production trains will be designed and evaluated using models, lab experiments and adding technology prototypes. The four technologies (nanofiltration membranes, ion exchange, electrodialysis and CO2 switch) will be evaluated and developed to better next generation technologies. Societal impact evaluation of the project and the technical impact of the production trains will be performed as well by means of a techno-economic analysis.

This project will make it possible to lower the CO2 footprint of these innovative production trains by 50% in 2030. This project should make a 0,27 Mton of CO2 eqv/year. This represents approximately 2% of the total reductions that the Netherlands Industry committed to in the Climate agreement. Furthermore, these technologies can be applied to other markets, making the potential impact even greater.

Grant provider

This project is co-funded by TKI-E&I with the supplementary grant 'TKI- Toeslag' for Topconsortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI’s) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Project partners

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