Unibio expects to further improve the productivity level of the U-Loop technology by a factor of 50% by developing a BioOptimizer and a pressure/pressureless system.
The proposed project builds on the further development of the patented Nozzle U-Loop fermentor and continues the process of developing single cell protein in the fermentor. The basic principles have been demonstrated and documented in small scale at DTU. However, in order to develop this principle and process further and also form the basis for a wider use of the technology for other fermentation processes, there is a need for basic scientific knowledge of e.g. biokinetic parameters and mass transfer coefficients in the Nozzle U-Loop fermentor at a larger scale.
A prerequisite for this development is a plant of at least 10 m3 (semi-industrial size) to operate on.
Unibio, in cooperation with DTU, has compiled the basis for a project to develop a pressure/pressureless fermentation technology and process optimization software for the control of a fermentation unit in connection with the production of Single Cell Protein – SCP (UniProtein®) based on methanol, biogas or natural gas.
The ultimate goal is to reach a 50% productivity increase for existing and future fermentation plants based on innovative design changes and new software, as well as energy savings of 25-30% and reduced capital investment of approx. 15%.
Furthermore a realistic-sized plant where the learning process both in terms of design changes and software development can be analysed, implemented and documented will work as a fully operational demonstration plant enhancing Unibio’s marketing efforts and as a training facility for staff and licensees.
The advanced technological equipment will consist of a Nozzle U-loop fermentor with process control and upstream and downstream equipment. The fermentor will be easy to monitor and sample at multiple points and easy to modify. It will later be modified to a pressure/pressureless fermentor. The design will, however, be based on existing technology in order to be able to develop a method for installing the new technology at future commercial plants.
In terms of software the downstream equipment will be integrated with the fermentor, allowing optimization of all parameters of the production process. The software will get information from the entire production chain on an ongoing basis and will thus automatically determine the production parameters to achieve optimum production capacity.