Meet… Lieneke Boer

Meet… Lieneke Boer

– Tertiary cellulose comes from cellulosic residual flows that would normally be incinerated. For example, it can come from milk packaging and pizza boxes, but also from paper residues from sewage treatment plants. As an outsider you may think ‘not really sexy to work with these residual flows!’ Yet that is exactly what Lieneke Boer does. She believes it is important in her work to “do something that is relevant, that you also see the benefit of.” In December 2021, she joined our team of engineers.

For her bachelor, Lieneke studied Technical Business Administration at the University of Groningen. During this bachelor, she already moved towards chemical technology. But the business administration part was “useful and interesting, but not quite what I was looking for.” The Master’s degree in Water Technology at Wetsus in Leeuwarden turned out to be a successful next step; she graduated with honors.


Most of her working days she spends at the Zernike Advanced Processing facility, ZAP for short. Here she is the initiator of experiments conducted in the context of the Cell-U-Value project. That means a lot of thinking and operational work. In the Cell-U-Value project, the focus is on making glucose from cellulose from residual flows. “Cellulose can be seen as a very long chain of all kinds of glucose molecules. We cut those molecules into pieces until we have glucose. We reprocess that to bioethanol or acetic acid, for example; raw materials that have numerous chemical applications.” This creates sustainably produced biobased raw materials for, i.e., bioplastics, paint, and cleaning agents, which can serve as a replacement for fossil sources.

In the Cell-U-Value project, Recell works together with ISPT, Nobian and the University of Groningen, among others. “For this project, we are in regular contact with PhD candidate Elchin Jafariyeh Yazdi from the University of Groningen, who is also working on the project. There is a monthly meeting with the supervising professors. These are people with a lot of experience, it is a pleasure to collaborate with them.”

From waste to valuable raw material

At Recell, Lieneke can combine practical work and theoretical work. And that is exactly what she was looking for after her studies. “For me it’s great to turn a waste product into a valuable raw material. And doing that in a sustainable way. I can put a sandwich in a lunchbox instead of in a bag. But I think what I’m doing now at Recell has far more impact!”

Do you also want to make an impact? And do you want to know how Recell can make your business chain greener? Please contact us!