With recent advances in molecular biology and a growing biomass availability for use as industrial feedstock, the bio-based economy is getting a wider range of inputs. Scaling up the bio(techno)logy innovations and implementation in large-scale factories or biorefineries clearly is a present bottleneck: industries are struggling to get the bio-opportunities to the market, as experienced industrial bioprocess designers and operational experts are not readily available to meet the growing needs.
Teachers from universities and companies have joint forces and will present a program that centers around industrial fermentation processes, and is flanked by overviews on upstream and downstream processing. The focus of the course is on design of innovative microbial fermentations, for bio-products such as amino acids and monomers for bio-plastics, complemented with examples of marine and mammalian processes, for micro-algae products and bio-pharmaceuticals. A substantial part (ca. 40% of the time) will be dedicated to a case study, executed in teams of 4-6 participants, on the design of a bioprocess for the production of a chemical (1,4-butanediol). Basic theory on thermodynamic, microbial stoichiometry and kinetics, transport phenomena and scale up/down will be extensively applied and integrated. The team with the best design performance wins the Genomatica Bioprocess Design prize. There are several guest lecturers from leading universities and industries in the bioprocess field, providing latest insights in technology innovations, non-conventional feedstocks and new bio-product categories, complemented with views from the industrial practice.