BBI.D7-2015 - Overcoming low product yields from fermentation processes
- Higher process yields of at least 20% compared to the state of the art;
- Cost reduction of at least 15 % compared to conventional down-stream processing of the fermentation broth;
- Increasing the overall productivity will further lead to more economically feasible processes proved in demonstration scale.
- Contributing to realising the objectives of Key Enabling Biotechnology under Horizon 2020 and dedicated EU policy in so far as to addressing the development of scientific and technological know-how in biotechnology and its translation into industrial products and solutions of societal challenges.
Demonstration of the techno-economic viability of fermentation processes by showing a significant increase of yields for a specific molecule or categories of molecules. Proposals should address the specific limiting factors of the considered targeted value chain: renewable feedstock, microorganism, and product. Proposals will address the integration of the fermentation process with the subsequent downstream step and will consider process intensification strategies such as in-situ product recovery, strain recycling or continuous fermentation. Proposals could consider the demonstration of downstream processing (purification technologies) if required in view of the substance produced. A Life Cycle Analysis should be carried out in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed process. Proposal will assess products demand and will consider market pull related activities (e.g. standardisation, consumers’ perception) aimed at facilitating the market uptake of the developed products. The leading role of relevant industrial partners is considered essential to achieve the full impact.
It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of up to EUR 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.
Fermentation processes have showed their efficiency for the production of a wide range of industrial products such as alcohols, acids, proteins, amino acids, and specialty carbohydrates. Although enabling milder processing conditions and the production of innovative molecules, their industrial uptake is hindered by the fact that actual yields at industrial scale are normally much lower than theoretical ones. Beyond strain capacities, industrial fermentation yields are strongly limited by factors like strain inhibitors (from upstream or from the fermentation), process set-up (including downstream processing of the produced molecules) and scale of the operations. Overcoming limitation of industrial process' yields is essential to improve the competitiveness of the processes and the target products, in particular for high added value products resulting from complex metabolic pathways.