Downstream Processing

The downstream processing module extracts and refines end products such as biofuels, biochemicals, food ingredients and pharmaceuticals.

Our technical range includes (membrane) filtration, centrifugation, homogenization, (bio)chemical conversions, chromatography, crystallization, electrodialysis, extraction, evaporation, formulation and various drying methods. Numerous vessels, ranging from 60 L to 4000 L, with different material properties and capabilities, are available for a variety of process steps. DSP processing also available in ATEX (allowing the use of flammable solvents) and Food area.

When developing a new fermentation process, consider the final product specs and DSP train in the beginning: avoid by-products and excessive waste, modify strain if needed and carefully consider raw material selection. This will contribute to the development of a technical and economic viable process on production scale.

This is where experience comes in. BPF brings industrial scale experience and translates this into the right set of piloting conditions. 

Best practices

Anti-foam agents

Foaming behaviour is complex to model and in some cases unpredictable. Finding the right balance between aeration and agitation while the fermentation is proceeding without interruption is a challenge.

Extensive foaming interrupts the process and leads to yield loss or loss of the complete fermenter. Dosing anti-foam to the fermenter can keep foaming under control.

Anti-foaming agents are however known to potentially inhibit growth and can affect DSP by, for example, blocking membrane filters or negatively influencing product crystallization. Depending on the final application, the choice of antifoam can give rise to issues with final product registration.

Careful selection of a suitable antifoam type and determination of the maximum amount of antifoam that can be added without hampering DSP needs to be determined on lab or pilot scale.