CELABOR is an SME providing research and technical services with a staff of 50 people offering scientific and technical support to companies in the field of nutrition, extraction, environment, packaging, paper/cardboard, biomaterials, textiles, and biotechnology. Thanks to many analytical, lab- and pilot-scale equipment, CELABOR is involved in many research projects funded by industrial, regional, and European programs such as Horizon 2020 (BBI, SFS, NMBP, MSCA, etc.), Interreg and ERA-NET. CELABOR investigates and develops extraction, chemical and biotechnological processes for different applications in the sectors of food, feed, environment, biomaterial, cosmetic, pharmacy, …, e.g. fractionation of agro-industrial biomass for isolation of high added-value products, chemically reactive extrusion of innovative cellulosic biomaterials, production of cell biomass, metabolites and bioenergy based on aerobic or anaerobic fermentation and/or valorization of residual organic materials.


CELABOR, and more specifically its Extraction Department, is specialized in the upscaling of new and innovative extraction processes and offers its services to small and large companies to help them develop their activities and reduce the risks for industrial uptakes. In order to do so, CELABOR is equipped with a unique platform in Wallonia for technology transfer, with innovating and diversified technologies at lab and pilot-scale. This way, CELABOR is the link between academic research and the industry. This platform allows to perform different methods of extraction such as extraction with pressurized solvents (supercritical CO2, subcritical water…), assisted extraction (with micro-wave and ultrasound) or classical maceration, offering different options and the possibility to SMEs to explore new technologies, and to provide counseling in implementing them in their own company. This way, we play a part in promoting change in industrial practices in certain sectors such as the food-processing industry. We help them improve their mode of production through different strategies, such as process intensification, the use of new and more environmentally friendly processes, etc.

The way CELABOR can gain in expertise and offer more services is through the support of regional, national and European R&D projects. They provide us support for investment in new machinery for extraction processes as well as the development of cutting-edge analytical methods, with which we can develop new and innovative characterization methods that are highly looked for by companies in the cosmetic, food and feed sectors among others with the always-changing regulations that they face. CELABOR helps them to have a good control of their finished products composition and avoid risks of changing regulations (from REACH, GMP guidelines, novel food…).

Why participate in the NENU2PHAR project?

CELABOR has 25+ years of expertise in the fields of extraction and biomass valorization, as well as biomaterials. Thanks to our technology platform, we are able to work on various kinds of feedstocks: terrestrial, microbial and marine. Thanks to our diversified technologies, CELABOR has been participating in R&D projects at regional, national and international level for several years, and is now recognized as a key partner in European projects. In the past few years, there has been a growing interest and value for micro-algae, which represents a strategic biomass for CELABOR. The Nenu2PHAr project is very innovative because its aim is to develop a new value chain allowing bioplastic production from micro-algae. This could help reduce the cost for PHAs production, which is for the moment very high and therefore not highly developed but has a huge potential due to the properties of PHAs that make it particularly interesting for various applications, such as the packaging sector. Thanks to CBE-JU support, CELABOR has the opportunity to extend its knowledge in both the use of microalgae and in bioplastic production, 2 sectors that are highly researched at the moment and offer great potential for the future. CELABOR’s contribution in this project lies in the development of innovative, more environmentally friendly and cheaper extraction processes for the development and economic feasibility of this new value chain.


Other information you may want to share (key figures, future projects…)?

  Some key figures:

  • 26 years of existence
  • 51 employees and 399 cumulated years of experience at CELABOR
  • A platform for biomass valorization and technology transfer unique in Wallonia
  • >350 customers (80% SME)
  • R&D budget (in 2021) : 2500 k€
  • 26 regional and international projects (FEDER, INTERREG , pole projects, CWALITY, CORNET, H2020-BBI, DGARNE)
  • 8 ongoing Horizon2020 projects (in 2021)
  • More than 100 projects for SME support closed since mid-2016
  • So far, 33 regional and international projects in 2022