Avebe has been an innovative company throughout its 100 year existence. We are always looking for innovative applications based on potato starch and protein for customers in a wide range of sectors, but we are also innovative when it comes to how we produce our products.
On this World Environment Day we will be shining the spotlight on our unique Ducam process (involving the sustainable concentration of potato juice using membranes). Ducam has been operational in Ter Apelkanaal since this year and has already saved a lot of energy and water.
How does it work? We extract starch from potatoes at our potato starch factories. The potato juice that remains contains potato protein. Unfortunately, the potato protein is greatly diluted, which leaves us with a lot of water and only a little protein. To extract that protein, the water had to be boiled and evaporated. Ducam first channels the water through an ultrafiltration system, which removes a lot of water from the potato protein. That leaves much less water to be heated and evaporated. The water that has passed through the ultrafiltration system now passes through an even finer filter. In this process, called reverse osmosis, even dissolved salts are caught, leaving clean water that we can reuse.
Starting up a new technology on a large scale is always an exciting event. Ducam is working well and has already saved Avebe three quarters of a million cubic metres of gas during the last campaign. If we are able to run a full campaign with Ducam next year, our largest factory will emit at least 10% less carbon. We also used much less water. This is good news for our members: they desperately need it these dry years!
This project was carried out with Top Sector Energy Subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.