INV 1: 7L Fermentors with ELSD HPLC and RI-UV HPLC
In July 2013, 7 L fermenters with auxiliaries and HPLC analytical equipment (1x HPLC-ELSD, 1x HPLC-RI/UV) were installed at Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. The 7L fermenters play a crucial role in developing an industrial process.
7L fermenters play a crucial role in developing an industrial process. They consist of the first development step in the R&D process, after the shake flask (that is used in the research phase). Accurate on-line measurements of factors such as critical metabolites, product quantity and quality, and a set of analytical data is very important to allow the definition of scale up factors and to produce initial quantities to test product efficacy and stability.
Having multiples analysis methodologies allows the analysis of a very broad range of bio-based products:
- The samples of the fermentation are analysed either by HPLC with a ELSD detector or HPLC with a RI/UV detector.
- Emitting Light Scattering Diode (ELSD) detection is a specific detection method used for analysis of glycolipids and specialty carbohydrates.
- Refractive Index (RI) detection is a general detection method which allows the detection of various compounds, both polar and apolar. An additional UV detector is standard in the RI detection HPLC systems. UV is the most common detection method for HPLCs.
How will this equipment help SMEs in NWE:
Despite several requests from companies for small scale fermentations, BBEPP so far had to refrain from doing this when no clear large scale commitment was given. However, the many requests show that there is a need within companies (especially SMEs) for outsourcing this type of development. With this increase in capacity also smaller programs, that are mainly asked for by SME´s, can be executed in a reasonable timeframe and quality. The increased number of fermenters allows to do tests in parallel thus reducing labour cost. This will allow a reduction in project cost for the companies that request this type of test and therefore the threshold for SMEs for starting a development program will become smaller.