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Separations in biorefineries

Lipnizki, Frank LU orcid (2014) 15th Nordic Filtration Symposium, 2014
Abstract
1. IntroductionThe starting point of modern biotechnology is often defined by the production of lactic acid by Pasteur in 1857 and the discovery of penicillin by Fleming in 1928. During this first wave of biotechnological processes moved production of e.g. antibiotics and amino acids from laboratory to industrial scale. The second wave of biotechnological processes started with the discovery of the DNA structure by Crick and Watson in 1953 which opened the doors for molecular engineering allowing to recombine DNA. The end of the 20th century marked the beginning of the third wave of biotechnology focusing on the replacement of chemical processes using C2/C3 chemistry based on oil and gas by biotechnological processes. Membranes have been... (More)
1. IntroductionThe starting point of modern biotechnology is often defined by the production of lactic acid by Pasteur in 1857 and the discovery of penicillin by Fleming in 1928. During this first wave of biotechnological processes moved production of e.g. antibiotics and amino acids from laboratory to industrial scale. The second wave of biotechnological processes started with the discovery of the DNA structure by Crick and Watson in 1953 which opened the doors for molecular engineering allowing to recombine DNA. The end of the 20th century marked the beginning of the third wave of biotechnology focusing on the replacement of chemical processes using C2/C3 chemistry based on oil and gas by biotechnological processes. Membranes have been successfully integrated into biotechnology production processes since the invention of the phase inversion membrane by Sidney and Sourirajan in the 1960ies and are under investigation to become key separation processes in the development of future biorefineries. 
2. Future biorefineriesBiorefineries are integrated biotech facilities aiming on full utilization of feedstock for the simultaneous production of e.g. food, biofuels and biochemical (1). Examples are the integrated production of biofuels and/or biopolymers from sugar and/or cellulose-based feedstock as part of sugar/starch factories or pulp mills. In these biorefineries the applications of membranes can be both in the production or water loop of the process. 
2.1 Production loopDepending on the raw material, e.g. wood biomass or starch, the initial step is the pre-treatment and conversion to sugars. The sugars - if diluted - can then be concentrated by reverse osmosis and polished by microfiltration/ultrafiltration before fermentation. During fermentation, the biofuels/biochemicals are produced and can be continuously removed by e.g. microfiltration/ultrafiltration/pervaporation to prevent product inhibitions from stopping the fermentation. Subsequently, microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis and pervaporation can be used for concentration and/or polishing of the biofuels/biochemicals. In Figure 1, an overview of different membrane opportunities is given. Figure 1:Membrane opportunities in biorefineries for biochemical and biofuel production loop (2).
2.2 Water loop Another important loop in bio-refineries is the water loop. Since membrane processes are already well-established to upgrade in-take water in other industries e.g. using a cascade process consisting of ultrafiltration as pre-filtration step followed by reverse osmosis, it can be foreseen that membrane will also establish themselves also in biorefineries for this position. Additionally, membrane processes can be used for in-process water recycling e.g. using reverse osmosis as evaporator condensate polisher or they can be integrated in the wastewater treatment plants membrane bioreactor for end-of-pipe treatment. Hence, membrane processes can be an important tool in the water loop of biorefineries maximizing water utilization and minimizing water discharge. 
3. Concluding outlookOverall, membrane processes have a great potential to become key separation unit in the concept of biorefineries considering their highly selectivity and low energy consumption. Potential key applications can be found in both the production and water loop of biorefineries and main R&D efforts in the industry are currently focusing on scaling these potential applications from laboratory to pilot and ultimately full-scale.

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author
organization
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type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Membrane processes, Biorefineries
conference name
15th Nordic Filtration Symposium, 2014
conference location
Lund, Sweden
conference dates
2014-09-09 - 2014-09-10
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
def07906-28ca-4e5b-9007-2a9e059079c3
date added to LUP
2018-10-15 07:33:26
date last changed
2019-03-08 02:29:53
@misc{def07906-28ca-4e5b-9007-2a9e059079c3,
  abstract     = {1. IntroductionThe starting point of modern biotechnology is often defined by the production of lactic acid by Pasteur in 1857 and the discovery of penicillin by Fleming in 1928. During this first wave of biotechnological processes moved production of e.g. antibiotics and amino acids from laboratory to industrial scale. The second wave of biotechnological processes started with the discovery of the DNA structure by Crick and Watson in 1953 which opened the doors for molecular engineering allowing to recombine DNA. The end of the 20th century marked the beginning of the third wave of biotechnology focusing on the replacement of chemical processes using C2/C3 chemistry based on oil and gas by biotechnological processes. Membranes have been successfully integrated into biotechnology production processes since the invention of the phase inversion membrane by Sidney and Sourirajan in the 1960ies and are under investigation to become key separation processes in the development of future biorefineries. <br/>2. Future biorefineriesBiorefineries are integrated biotech facilities aiming on full utilization of feedstock for the simultaneous production of e.g. food, biofuels and biochemical (1). Examples are the integrated production of biofuels and/or biopolymers from sugar and/or cellulose-based feedstock as part of sugar/starch factories or pulp mills. In these biorefineries the applications of membranes can be both in the production or water loop of the process. <br/>2.1 Production loopDepending on the raw material, e.g. wood biomass or starch, the initial step is the pre-treatment and conversion to sugars. The sugars - if diluted - can then be concentrated by reverse osmosis and polished by microfiltration/ultrafiltration before fermentation. During fermentation, the biofuels/biochemicals are produced and can be continuously removed by e.g. microfiltration/ultrafiltration/pervaporation to prevent product inhibitions from stopping the fermentation. Subsequently, microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis and pervaporation can be used for concentration and/or polishing of the biofuels/biochemicals. In Figure 1, an overview of different membrane opportunities is given.   Figure 1:Membrane opportunities in biorefineries for biochemical and biofuel production loop (2).<br/>2.2 Water loop Another important loop in bio-refineries is the water loop. Since membrane processes are already well-established to upgrade in-take water in other industries e.g. using a  cascade process consisting of ultrafiltration as pre-filtration step followed by reverse osmosis, it can be foreseen that membrane will also establish themselves also in biorefineries for this position. Additionally, membrane processes can be used for in-process water recycling e.g. using reverse osmosis as evaporator condensate polisher or they can be integrated in the wastewater treatment plants membrane bioreactor for end-of-pipe treatment.  Hence, membrane processes can be an important tool in the water loop of biorefineries maximizing water utilization and minimizing water discharge. <br/>3. Concluding outlookOverall, membrane processes have a great potential to become key separation unit in the concept of biorefineries considering their highly selectivity and low energy consumption. Potential key applications can be found in both the production and water loop of biorefineries and main R&amp;D efforts in the industry are currently focusing on scaling these potential applications from laboratory to pilot and ultimately full-scale.<br/><br/>},
  author       = {Lipnizki, Frank},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Separations in biorefineries},
  year         = {2014},
}