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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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High Cell Density Fermentations | In-situ Product Recovery | Membrane | Technology | Coupled Setups | Enzymatic Conversions



About the Platform 

Membrane bioreactors are set-ups that integrate membranes in bioreactor systems. Bioprocesses can benefit from such hybrid concept in various ways, depending on the role of the membranes

- retention of microbial cells or enzymes: this results in high cell densities or increased biocatalyst concentrations;

- in-situ product recovery: the selective removal of potentially inhibitory or unstable products from the fermentation broth as soon as they are produced, alleviates product inhibition or transformation into undesired products.

The integrated processes thus combine product formation and separation in one hybrid system and this results in process intensification through increased productivity, and/or improved product quality and/or yield


The proper separation technology has to be selected to achieve the desired biocatalyst retention or product recovery. In IBISBA, the following membrane technologies are available for coupling with bioprocesses:

- micro- or ultrafiltration to retain microorganisms or enzymes

- membrane cascades to recover tailored oligomer fractions

- organophilic pervaporation to selectively recover volatile products such as solvents (aceton, butanol, ethanol, etc.)

- hydrophilic pervaporation to selectively remove water, etc.

- electrodialysis to remove charged molecules.

All are available as tailor-made mobile skids, and can be coupled at lab-scale to fermentors with working volumes between 2 and 7 L. The integrated set-ups can be run in batch, fed-batch and continuous mode with bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms (also GMO) at Biosafety level 2.

All skids are equipped with on-line measurements as needed for proper monitoring, automation and control.

Units of access: 1 test run (1 week minimum)

  • Quantity offered: To be defined
  • Total offered: 2 to 5
  • Type of access: on-site



VITO is a leading European independent research and consultancy centre in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development, elaborating solutions for the grand societal challenges of tomorrow: climate change, food security, sustainable energy supply, the ageing population and scarcity of resources. The Business Unit of Separation and Conversion Technology (SCT) focuses its research on Sustainable Chemistry, and specifically on the use of alternative feedstocks as well as process intensification through the integration of separation technology with biotechnological of chemical processes.