Oleon is participating in the INCITE project
About four years ago, Oleon joined a Flemish research project, the INCITE project, together with VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) and two industrial partners from the feed and cosmetics industry. The aim was to jointly develop new technology to make esters in an innovative way: via enzymatic catalysis. Enzymes are proteins that catalyze numerous reactions in our living environment and in our bodies. They allow us to make a number of esters that we already make but at lower temperatures and pressure (ie more energy-efficient), with the formation of fewer by-products (ie with improved odor and color) and with a more natural character compared to our current chemical catalysis system.
However, translating what is known about enzymes to an industrial setting requires some extra effort. In LipaMetics, therefore, various esters were studied on a laboratory scale, with the most promising candidate being isopropyl palmitate from both a technological and economic point of view. At the end of last year, this product was also moved from lab scale to pilot scale at our pilot installation in Oelegem. Although not all questions were answered at the end of the LipaMetics project, the potential was especially clear. Oleon, together with VITO and five other European partners from Germany, Italy and France, has launched and awarded a major European project. This is how the INCITE project was born. The project is sponsored by the European Commission for more than 13 million euros.
The intention is this time to answer all open questions on a pilot scale in four years and to set up a demonstration plant (i.e. an industrial reactor) on the Oelegem site. The global R&D department will be responsible for all testing, coordination and running the demonstration plant. There will be close cooperation with Bio-P, our Italian engineering partner from the INCITE consortium, and of course the key persons and departments within Oleon Oelegem for building and putting the plant into use. The project is ambitious and will certainly bring challenges, but it is the perfect opportunity for Oleon to be part of the products of the future and put itself on the map as a market leader.
Sustainable palm policy : Avril&Oleon engaged in a field program for forest protection in Indonesia
Since 2016, Avril has adopted Earthworm Foundation's(EF) approach known as VTTV for Values, Transparency, Transformation and Verification. After having formalized its policy (values) and set up a traceability of purchases (transparency), Avril is now involved in the transformation phase towards zero deforestation by supporting actions in the field.
The first project supported, the APT program aims to preserve 4 large forest areas in Indonesia, many of which are recognized as biosphere reserves by UNESCO. EF's work consists in mobilizing all the actors of the territory (local government, communities, large plantations and small producers...) to achieve concerted management and stop deforestation.
During their field visit, Marjan, Annie and Clément will be able to exchange directly with all these stakeholders and with employees from other companies, sometimes customers or suppliers of the Avril Group who are also involved in the project.
Clément Tostivint sums it up as follows:
"Supporting sustainability actions directly with our suppliers, rather than buying RSPO credits, is the new direction taken in our sustainable palm policy and the internal standard that goes with it. The APT project is fully in line with this logic and other projects are to come.”
In-Cosmetics Latin America
ESDW, our commitment towards the UN SDGs: Affordable & Clean energy and Climate Action
In partnership with E.ON, Oleon invested in a new cogeneration plant in Ertvelde (BE) to anticipate its future energy requirements. The gas turbine powers the entire Oleon production plant and supports grid stability with the injection of electricity. The cogeneration plant can produce all necessary heat in the form of high pressure steam for all the production installations. By replacing its older conventional boilers with a state-of-the-art cogeneration plant, Oleon will realize primary energy savings. Although the cogeneration plant was not yet fully operational in 2018, we already achieved a greenhouse gas emission reduction of 17,285 MT. This is comparable to the energy use of over 2,000 households for one year. The cogeneration plant has also been able to cut our NOx emissions by half.
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