|Capability Title||Bioproduct separations|
|Laboratory||National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)|
|Capability experts||Eric Karp and Gregg Beckham|
|Description||NREL’s bioproduct separations laboratory contains several instruments for the recovery and purification of products produced from the fermentation of renewable resources.
Bioproducts are often produced in dilute aqueous environments with maximum concentrations around 10 wt. %. Thus, the large amount water present makes traditional approaches for recovery via distillation energetically unfavorable or impossible. R&D efforts at NREL are aimed at developing novel solid adsorption approaches to dewater dilute product streams. New resins and eluents are being developed with thermally integrated Simulated Moving Bed (SMB) systems to achieve complete dewatering while reducing energy requirements over 55% from that required in conventional distillation. Today, NREL holds automated batch column chromatography capabilities to test resins and scale approaches to process up to 10 L volumes.
|Limitations||Separations equipment is designed to reasonably handle fermentation volumes up to 10 L.|
|Unique aspects||These systems at NREL allow for scalable downstream process development using up to 10 L fermentation volumes. Strategies for cell and protein removal, product dewatering, and purification can be tailored to nearly any biologically produced intermediate.|
|Availability||The separations equipment above is available as a resource to NREL researchers, collaborators and outside organizations.|