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Bioresource Technology
Vol. 224, 2017, Pages: 509–514

Optimal design of upstream processes in biotransformation technologies

Endrit Dheskali, Katerina Michailidi, Aline Machado de Castro, Apostolis A. Koutinas, Ioannis K. Kookos

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Rio, 26504 Patras, Greece.


In this work a mathematical programming model for the optimal design of the bioreaction section of biotechnological processes is presented. Equations for the estimation of the equipment cost derived from a recent publication by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are also summarized. The cost-optimal design of process units and the optimal scheduling of their operation can be obtained using the proposed formulation that has been implemented in software available from the journal web page or the corresponding author. The proposed optimization model can be used to quantify the effects of decisions taken at a lab scale on the industrial scale process economics. It is of paramount important to note that this can be achieved at the early stage of the development of a biotechnological project. Two case studies are presented that demonstrate the usefulness and potential of the proposed methodology.

Keywords: Bioprocess design; Bioprocess optimization; Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB); 2,3-Butanediol.

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