BPFBioprocess Pilot Facility


Eric Goossens
Alexander Fleminglaan 1, 2613 AX Delft
TU Delft, WUR Food & Biobased Research

The Bioprocess Pilot Facility B.V. (BPF) is a unique open access pilot facility, where partners, companies and knowledge institutes can work (together) on developing and commercializing new circular products and production processes in the biotechnology domain that address pressing global societal changes. BPF has facilities to scale up lignocellulosic pretreatment and hydrolysis, fermentation and downstream processing processes and furthermore has a certified facility to scale up processes for biobased food ingredients. BPF plays a crucial role in confirming scientifically established proof of concept at scale, technology transfer, validating new technical designs, scaling up processes and demonstrating these processes in an integrated mode. With the data generated at BPF future commercialization of processes in the circular bioeconomy has a reduced risk and a shorter time-to-market is achieved. Furthermore, BPF is involved in enhancing the bio-processing competence.

At the BPF the following operating modules are available:

1. Pretreatment & Hydrolysis: bench and large-scale equipment for the valorisation of (lignocellulosic) biomass by unlocking sugars, lignin, fibres and for other high value components.
2. Fermentation: bench and large-scale fermenters for the conversion of (lignocellulosic) sugars to e.g. biofuels, monomers for biobased plastics, fine chemicals for cosmetics, agriculture, flavour and fragrances and other biobased building blocks by means of micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, yeast).
3. Downstream Processing: a plethora of industrially relevant equipment for the isolation and purification of products from fermentation broth.
4. Food: FSSC 22000 certified area with fermenters and DSP equipment to produce food ingredients.
5. Labscale facilities for lower TRL R&D activities.

A description of the operating modules and its capacities:
1. Pretreatment & Hydrolysis unit
Module is used to test business cases around the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass (e.g. wood, straw, agro-residues) into fermentable sugars, lignin and other high value compounds. This is the first step in a lignocellulosic biorefinery.
Lignocellulosic biomass can be pretreated in batch (4kg/batch) or continuous (40kg/hour) mode on scale-down models of industrial equipment. If needed followed by enzymatic hydrolysis (3 or 9 m3) of the resulting pretreated cake by using newly developed or commercial enzyme cocktails and various solid/liquid separations.

2. Fermentation
First and second-generation sugars, as well as other C-sources such as formic acid produced electrochemically from CO2, can be converted by means of fermentation to bulk, fine chemicals and pharmaceutical intermediates by means of micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, yeast). The fermentation capacity at the BPF varies from 10 L to 4,000 L fully equipped fermentation vessels with a large variety of feeding possibilities and data acquisition. BPF is an MI-II facility and therefore has the capability to work with non-GMO as well as GMO micro-organisms.

3. Downstream Processing
Products produced at the BPF or externally can be isolated and purified from a variety of matrices at scale using over 70 pieces of industrially relevant operating units, such as homogenization, dead-end and tangential flow filtration, centrifugation, extraction, evaporation, crystallization and drying.

4. Food ingredients module
Food ingredients can be produced by means of fermentation and/or downstream processing in an FSSC 22000 certified environment and installation. Fermentation capacity ranges from 4 L to 2,000 L and a variety of downstream processing units are also available.

5. Lab scale
At lab scale R&D at lower TRL can be completed prior to the higher TRL R&D in the pilot facility.

Aansluiting bij strategische ontwikkelingen
Agri & Food
Circulaire economie en grondstoffenefficiƫntie: duurzame circulaire impact
Duurzame productie van gezond en veilig voedsel