School of Engineering seminar: Novel manufacturing routes for bio-based products

School of Engineering seminar: Novel manufacturing routes for bio-based products

This is a past event

Industrial (White) Biotechnology, the application of biological substances, such as microorganisms,to the industrial production of bio-based chemicals and energy, is critical to the global transition toa low-carbon economy. Realising the market potential for bio-based products and exploiting theirassociated bene ts requires extensive research and process development, particularly in the areas offermentation processes and downstream separation, presenting technological barriers which Biochemical Engineers have the technical expertise and practical know-how to overcome. The focus of this development must be on sustainable solutions; it is not safe to assume that a bio-based process will have lower environmental, social and economic impacts over its lifecycle, compared to traditionally used and well established petrochemical processes; the controversy surrounding rst generation bio-fuels being a pertinent example.Bio-based chemicals such as biosurfactants and biopolymers are microbially produced molecules with potential for use as alternatives to traditional petroleum derived chemicals. Currently the use of bio-based chemicals outside niche, high added value applications is hindered by a lack of economic production routes, with issues common to many bioprocesses being encountered; low upstream productivity and the subsequent need for costly downstream separation. Product speci c challenges also exist, for example in aerobic fermentations for extracellular biosurfactant production nuisance foaming presents diculties, as does the recovery of intracellular biopolymer without resorting to solvent based extraction processes.Our research is focused on developing novel, scalable batch, fed-batch and continuous fermentationmethodologies, separation processes and design rules to improve production yields of bio-based products with a view to realising the potential market for bulk and speciality chemicals produced viabiological routes. This increased knowledge of bioprocess design optimisation is applicable to industrial biotechnology across a broad range of systems.

Dr James Winterburn
Hosted by
School of Engineeering
FN2, Fraser Noble building

Amer Syed